Fortuna Dusseldorf of Germany goalkeeper, Emil Maduka Okoye is facing up to the possibility that he will be Nigeria’s number one shot-stopper for the start of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers next month, as he declared that he is ready to face the forthcoming challenges and do all he can to make the best of it.
Megasportsarena.com reports that, with current first choice, Francis Odinaka Uzoho now ruled out for the entire season, the Omonia Nicosia of Cyprus goaltender will not be available for the November battles with Benin Republic and Lesotho in the race to Cameroon 2021, thereby leaving Okoye as the next likely lad in line, despite having only had his debut with the Super Eagles last Sunday in the 1-1 draw with Brazil.
Though he had just about 20 minutes on the pitch during that epic friendly at Singapore National Stadium, many pundits submitted that the Germany-born mulatto showed great composure and confidence in front of goal, while also exhibiting encouraging reaction potentials.
With the towering keeper also exhibiting almost flawless abilities in reaching for crosses during his short time on the pitch, many Nigerian football fans are wont to agree with analysts that Okoye showed attributes that put him ahead of Heartland of Owerri’s Ikechukwu Ezenwa, who has been known to be inconsistent and looked shaky at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
With Eagles’ coach, Gernot Rohr having already shown over the years that he has a preference for foreign-based players, the onus is now on Okoye to get the tactician’s nod ahead of Ezenwa for the upcoming competitive games against Benin Republic and Lesotho, heading into which the Dusseldorf youngster says he is up to the task.
While expressing regrets over the long-term injury copped by Uzoho, who he wished well in his recovery process, Okoye declared himself ready to be Nigeria’s first choice and promised to work hard with his club, in order to prepare himself adequately to make the best of any game time he is bound to be accorded against Benin Republic and Lesotho.
“I’m ready to be chosen. I showed a bit of my readiness when I was called upon and it was really a happy moment for me. I felt the pain of my brother Francis when he sustained that injury. It must have been very painful. I wish him a speedy recovery and I will miss him,” Okoye stated.