There are strong indications that Super Eagles goalkeeper to the last World Cup in Russia, Francis Uzoho is on the verge of losing his number one status for the team, if going by the body language of the Head Coach of the team, Gernot Rohr.
The Franco-German tactician, who was part of Wednesday’s Nigeria Professional Football League crowd at the Agege Stadium in Lagos said he is worried the status of the goalkeeper with Spanish Segunda Division club, Elche, where he has lost out in the pecking order.
Uzoho, whose choice as number one to the Mundial beats the imagination of most pundits, is being used sparingly by the Spanish second tier club and his matter reached the limit lately as the club engaged another top goalkeeper in the ongoing transfer window. A development, Rohr admitted he is not comfortable with.
Although he admitted that he still has him in his plans, he could not confirm the number one status considering the array of other ‘fringe’ keepers in the pool since the exit of Carl Ikeme from football two years ago.
“This development calls for concern and I feel for him but the interest of the team is more important than any personal interest or ambition. Elche just signed another goalkeeper meaning that the new signing will compete for second choice position with him.
“I will like to see him as number one goalkeeper and not a substitute in a Spanish second league. I know that the level is high in Spain,” he noted.
The newly wedded goalkeeper conceded four goals altogether at the World Cup without any meaningful saves in the three matches that could have convinced cynics to change their mind towards him.
Unfortunately when he returned to Spain in the ongoing season, he conceded many goals before he was relegated to second choice keeper for the lower cadre side in the league.
“We also have other players in Spain doing very well because I do monitor them to see how they are doing, their progress and fitness. I am positive about their ability when they return to the national team.
“Samuel Chukwueze and Kenneth Omeruo are leading lights in LaLiga. I have watched them closely and happy that they command respectable time on the field.
“When I first invited Chukwueze to the team, many were surprised with my action, but then, I knew his level, that he has lots of quality and he is already showing that.
“Same thing with Omeruo when he played the last game for us in South Africa, he is a good central defender and I am happy he is being recognised in his club.
“We also have Moses Simon who did very well in the game against Barcelona FC in their last game. We also have him in our plans too,” he concluded.