The Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has said that the team doesn’t have a world-class goalkeeper that can perform excellently in the Russia 2018 World Cup campaign.
Rohr stated that Ikechukwu Ezenwa, whose performance against Cameroon and Zambia earned the team qualification to Russia for the 2018 World Cup , was only improving and has all the potential of becoming a very good keeper, pending his World Cup debut.
“I don’t have a world-class goalkeeper now but we’ll go with what we have. Ezenwa is progressing so much that in the past few weeks he is becoming a very good goalkeeper and that is why he kept in the games against Cameroon and Zambia. He is a goalkeeper much stronger than before, we shall have to see what will happen in the next few months,” he said.
Speaking further, he pointed out that Nigerians were happy with the performance of Ezenwa, who however needs the World Cup to unlock the beast within.
”Ezenwa is a very good goalkeeper but needs big stage experience like the World Cup”. He said.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper coach Alloy Agu has hinted that Deportivo La Coruna short stopper Francis Uzoho will be invited to the national team ahead of next summer’s World Cup if he consistently churns out brilliant performances for the Spanish side.
In some quarters, the Super Eagles faithful want the goalkeeper to be immediately invited to the national team for their next fixture versus Algeria having made his La Liga debut against SD Eibar on Sunday , but Agu is having none of it, saying he has to first confirm if Uzoho is up to scratch.
”As long as he keeps playing and he’s on top of his game, of course he’ll get a call-up,” Agu told only allnigeriasoccer.com.
”We are looking for good hands that will make Nigeria proud and he’s a Nigerian, who said we won’t look at him.
”We will monitor him, it’s good to hear, good to know. We will keep our radar on him and continue to monitor and pray for his progress.
”Honestly speaking, a Nigerian is entitled to play for the country no matter wherever he is as long as he lives up to standards, I’ll keep monitoring him.”
In addition to posting a shutout in his maiden appearance in the Spanish top-flight, Uzoho has kept three clean-sheets from four appearances for Deportivo La Coruna II in the Segunda División B – Grupo I.
Born October 28, 1998, he was a member of the Golden Eaglets squad at the 2013 Fifa U-17 World Cup, but was behind Dele Alampasu and Abdulazeez Abubakar in Manu Garba’s pecking order of goalkeepers.