Former Nigeria international goalkeeper Ike Shorunmu believes Francis Uzoho’s injury is a major setback for the Super Eagles.
Uzoho is facing a six-month lay-off after rupturing ligaments in his knee during Sunday’s 1-1 friendly draw with Brazil in Singapore. He will subsequently miss Nigeria’s 2021 AFCON qualifying games against the Benin Republic and Lesotho in November.
Speaking with newsmen, Shorunmu said bringing in new goalkeepers to the team might be disastrous, even as he counselled Coach Gernot Rohr on the way forward.
“It would be very disastrous to bring in a young goalkeeper that doesn’t have the experience of being in a national team set-up to man the post against Lesotho and Benin next month,” counselled Shorunmu when pressed about the apparent goalkeeping crisis befuddling the Super Eagles.
“Uzoho was gaining confidence since his return as Super Eagles first choice goalkeeper after some suspect performances in the past. But we have to give the same belief we gave Uzoho to the other goalkeepers available.
“Rohr needs to manage what he has now, whether he chooses Maduka Okoye or Ikechukwu Ezenwa; and they have to undergo serious training so they can deliver.”
When asked who would he pick between the experienced Ikechukwu Ezenwa, who has not played a competitive match since the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and Maduka Okoye, who seldom plays for German fourth-tier side Fortuna Düsseldorf II, Shorunmu said: “I would use what I have available to me. Despite the delay in starting the Nigerian Professional Football League, an experienced goalkeeper is still an experienced goalkeeper.
“But I want to believe coach Gernot Rohr knows the capability of the players he has and hopefully, he will take the best decision,” he noted.