Villarreal of Spain winger, Samuel Chukwueze is getting closer to be counted upon again by the Spanish LaLiga club, according to the coach, Unai Emery, who admitted he delighted with the star’s recovery from injury ahead of side’s La Liga meeting with Athletic Club on Sunday night.
The former Arsenal of England gaffer acknowledged that so much has happened and many matches gone by since Chukwueze’s last game in LaLiga against Celta de Vigo on January 8 and, with The Yellow Submarine failing to win five matches without the Super Eagles’ dazzler in the squad, Emery is thankful of the opportunity to have the left-footed lad back.
The gaffer’s verdict was confirmed when Chukwueze played his first game since recovering from a groin injury, with the youngster entering the pitch as a replacement for Alfonso Pedraza with five minutes remaining in Villarreal’s 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao.
Having returned to action in the LaLiga clash at San Mamés on Sunday night, following 44 days of inactivity, Chukwueze has put himself back into contention to feature for the Super Eagles in their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin Republic and Lesotho.
Megasportsarena.com reports that Chukwueze was an ever-present in Villarreal’s matchday squad for domestic competitions before suffering a groin injury that required surgery, with the Basque manager picking him for 20 games in a row, including two Copa del Rey matches.
At the height of his comeback progressing, Chukwueze traveled with the Villarreal squad for the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg clash against Red Bull Salzburg of Austria and, though he remained rooted to the bench for the entirety of the game, Emery enthused that a new story is unfolding already.
The Spanish tactician pointed out that the Chile 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup third highest goals scorer has now reached a better level of match fitness, which puts him in good stead for a bold return to action with the previously high-flying club.
Emery said: “Samu has already joined, he was on the bench, warmed up and is, after a certain period of inactivity, closer to being able to count on him and reaching the demands and performance we want. He gives us more options.”