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Super Eagles Goalkeeper Crisis: Could Adeleye be the long term solution?

Super Eagles Goalkeeper Crisis: Could Adeleye be the long term solution?

It is unarguable that Nigeria is one of the top football destinations in Africa as well as the entire World.

Although the country may not be in the league of Brazil, Germany, or even Spain in terms of achievements on and off the pitch, Nigeria can still hold her own in terms of talents.

Several stars have shone like a million stars in the green and white Jersey of the most populous black nation in the World.

A special class of these players are the Goalkeepers some of which carried the Super Eagles on their backs to remarkable achievements at different times in the history of the game in Nigeria.

History is replete with goalkeeping greats like Emmanuel Okala, Best Ogedegbe, Peter Fregene, Peter Rufus, Wilfred Agbonavbare, Alloy Agu, Ike Shorunmu, and more recently, Vincent Enyeama.

All of the goalminders mentioned above contributed immensely to the success of the senior national team resulting in different laurels for the country.

Perhaps the most outstanding name is Vincent Enyeama who amassed over 100 international caps, the AFCON title, and three World Cup appearances to his name.

But since he called time on his career, successive Super Eagles coaches have had a torrid time finding a replacement for the former Lille shot-stopper.

Nowadays, a few young pairs of hands are battling for the starting spot between the sticks for the Eagles. Macula Okoye, Francis Uzoho, and Adebayo Adeleye are all in contention.

Smart money will be on Adeleye who plays for Hapoel Jerusalem in the Israeli top flight to become the number one goalkeeper but that remains to be seen.

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How have these three contenders fared in the race to grab the number one jersey of the Super Eagles?

Francis Uzoho

Francis Uzoho is Nigeria’s de facto number one, but that is not to say he has the spot under lock and key.

The Omonia shot-stopper made his international debut in 2017 but even after 27 caps, he is struggling to impose himself as the undisputed number one.

He has had more than a fair amount of chances to prove his doubters wrong but he has only succeeded in leaving doubt in the minds of the fans.

In the long run, it looks like the former Aspire Academy trainee will have to be part of the supporting cast for the eventual first-choice goalkeeper.

Maduka Okoye

Maduka  Okoye came into the consciousness of Nigerians while plying his trade with the second team of Fortuna Düsseldorf.

He posted some decent performances for his club that earned him a call-up to the National team under Gernot Rohr in 2019.

Like Okoye, he has also had his chances but too many costly mistakes saw him relinquish his short reign as number one.

It is unlikely that the former Sparta Rotterdam goaltender will regain the spot anytime soon, as he is not getting any game time at Watford.

Adebayo Adeleye

Adebayo Adeleye is the latest goalkeeper to earn a call-up to the Super Eagles fold.

The Hapoel Jerusalem goalkeeper is a mainstay of his Israeli team and plays regularly.

Despite getting called up for the last few friendly matches, Adeleye is yet to make his international debut.

The young goalkeeper has been touted as the long-term solution to the goalkeeping problem in the Super Eagles.

But until he gets his chance between the sticks, he’ll only be playing back up.