Bolts of excitement are rolling through the rank and file at AS Monaco of France, following the return of Henry Onyekuru from an extended holiday in Lagos, where he flew to right after the end of last season, where he played the second half on loan at Galatasaray of Turkey, megasportsarena.com reports.
Onyekuru returned to Galatasaray in January, following his inability to tie down a regular shirt with Monaco, which he joined last summer, but he could not convince the crew at the Turkish Super Lig club to give him another full contract, hence his reluctant back-track to Monte Carlo; only for him to get a surprisingly warm welcome message from the club’s media crew.
That marked a promising second coming for Onyekuru at Monaco, as the winger-cum-attacker, who celebrated his first year wedding anniversary on July 27, has received a strong boost to make the best of what is expected to be his first full season with the club that previously had the Nigerian trio of Victor Ikpeba, Lukman Haruna, Elderson Uwa Echiejile on their cards.
With the welcome message from Monaco’s media unit serving as a morale booster for him, Onyekuru hit the ground running in his first training session back with the club, which now has a new manager in charge, and the product of Surulere Football Academy of Lagos dazzled in his first training under the watchful eyes of former Bayern Munich of Germany coach, Niko Kovac.
It was a smooth restart for Onyekuru, who had been granted extended time off to relish his wedding anniversary, after leaving Galatasaray at the end of his loan deal, and he finally got back to his parent club last weekend and joined the team for his first training session at the start of this week.
He will now try to get a better standing in the team by working harder under Kovac, who was said to have been interested in the former KAS Eupen and RSC Anderlecht crafty forward during his days in Munich, but failed in his bid to lure the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations bronze medalist over to Allianz Arena; and he should be glad that they can now work together at Monaco.
This means Onyekuru should get better footing on his second tenure at ASM, where the stylish lad, who also had a spell with Aspire Academy of Qatar before moving to Belgium, will be all out to gain redemption while playing under Kovac during the upcoming 2020/21 season.
Another boost for the 23-yerar-old Onyekuru, who never played an official match for Everton of England, after signing for The Toffees in 2017, as he was loaned to Anderlecht, Galatasaray and Monaco during the period of his contract at Goodison Park, comes from a strong hint that Kovac wants to make him a core player in his plans for the new season with Monaco.
That provides a solid foundation to the new season for both coach and player, as Onyekuru has pushed aside all summer transfer speculation linking him with a horde of attracting interests from a host o European clubs and he wants to finally make his mark at Stade Louis II by working extra hard in order to get a first-team chance ahead of this month’s resumption of Ligue 1 play.
Consequently, the maverick star, who joined Monaco from Everton for almost 17.5m Euro last summer, is itching to create a huge first impression for Kovac and he showed such seriousness in his training under the new gaffer; as he hit home three goals, completed all his dribbles, and put up a gritty show of mobility, power, hunger and sharpness on the pitch.
It is now being expected that he will be able to exhibit a different shade of fortune than what he had under the former manager, Leonardo Jardim, during which he failed to score a single goal and got only one assist in four league appearances before he was loaned to Galatasaray, where he also struggled in his second spell by scoring just once in 10 appearances.
He will now hope to leave all about the ugly past behind him, as he settles down with Kovac and his teammates, with a heartwarming message from the club he signed a five-year deal in August 2019 spurring him on; as the eight-time French champions tweeted: “Henry Onyekuru is back;” the and the returnee youngster responded: “Back soon.”