Onyekuru fails to make the cut for Nigeria squad

Monday, 14 May, 2018 14comments  |  Jump to most recent

Henry Onyekuru and Everton's hopes that the young striker might be included in Nigeria's party for the World Cup have been dashed after he was omitted from the provisional 30-man list of players.

Onyekuru, an £8m signing from KAS Eupen last summer, has been on loan at Anderlecht this season but suffered a serious knee injury that has sidelined him since December.

He recently returned to fitness in a late bid to catch Nigeria's eye but has not been selected by the Belgian club, leading some conspiratorial intrigue in his home country.

According to a source quoted by ScoreNigeria, there are fears Anderlecht have deliberately withheld him from the team.

“Onyekuru not playing since his full recovery from injury is not funny. He has not been played for Anderlecht's main team after his recovery not because he is not fit but because of what I will call selfish interest.

“The club want him to stay for another season and know Henry will get a work permit to play for Everton if he features at the Russia 2018 World Cup. I think the coach is trying to prevent that from happening.

“Henry has played for the reserve team and it was obvious in those games he is fully fit. In fact the club's fans are not happy because Anderlecht lost in the championship to Standard Liege at home. They were given impression Henry is not fit but they know he is okay now.”

Belgian media, on the other hand, report that Onyekuru has suffered a relapse of his knee problem, one that at one stage looked like it might require corrective surgery.

With the player needing to play a certain percentage of matches before he can qualify for a work permit to play in the Premier League, it looks as though he will need to remain out on loan in Europe next season, be that with Anderlecht or another club.

Quotes sourced from ScoreNigeria via SportWitness

Reader Comments (14)

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Anthony Hawkins
1 Posted 14/05/2018 at 17:01:57
We won't be seeing him in the premiership next season.
Brian Williams
2 Posted 14/05/2018 at 17:10:50
There were suggestions he was purposely not getting played after his return from injury so that he wouldn't get picked, wouldn't qualify for a work permit and thus stay at Anderlecht for another season .
John Pierce
3 Posted 14/05/2018 at 17:33:08
If true, then loan him to an interested rival of Anderlecht.
Jim Bennings
4 Posted 14/05/2018 at 17:41:15
Must be a slow news day!
Liam Reilly
5 Posted 14/05/2018 at 17:41:36
He's been out for a whole so most likely just conspiracy theory nonsense and he s not match fit yet.

Anderlect must know that any truth in this would mean Everton pulling the plug on next season.

Steve Ferns
6 Posted 14/05/2018 at 17:54:06
Another year in Belgium and he'll get a Belgian passport.
Brian Williams
7 Posted 14/05/2018 at 18:05:57
Liam. You'd think that wouldn't you but he's been playing (reserves maybe, can't remember), and is 100% fit, allegedly.

As Steve says, another year at Anderlecht and we won't need a work permit for him.


Frank Crewe
8 Posted 14/05/2018 at 18:11:34
@ Steve Ferns.
In another year Brexit will have kicked in so I doubt having a Belgian passport will help at all. Brexit the gift that never stops giving.

Minik Hansen
9 Posted 14/05/2018 at 19:52:10
If he plays in a league like Bundesliga, will he get a work permit? Seems like it did good for Ademola Lookman.
Fran Mitchell
10 Posted 14/05/2018 at 23:43:34
I would prefer he move to a club like leipzig, hoffenheim or someone else in the German league. Is of similar level to PL and these teams do well in improving youngsters.
Steve Ferns
11 Posted 14/05/2018 at 23:54:24
Frank, I expect Brexit will include freedom of movement of workers, or something similar. If not, something different for football. Otherwise the Premier League is finished. How many players in the Premier League would not be able to secure a work permit?

No Minik, Henry needs 3 years in Belgium to get a passport. He has two. So he'd need a full year there, to get the passport and bypass work permit regulations. Otherwise, he needs caps for Nigeria rather than games in the Bundesliga.

Jack Convery
12 Posted 15/05/2018 at 20:10:32
The more of our players that don't go the world cup the better. Rest is what they need. Though I know after the season we have just had, a rest is what most of them have had for past 9 months.
Colin Glassar
13 Posted 15/05/2018 at 20:12:04
Rest anymore and they may as well be 6 feet under, Jack.
Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 20/05/2018 at 00:46:21
His manager Hein Vanhaezebrouck, frequently a harsh critic of Henry, now says that the reason he was dropped by Nigeria was because he isn't ready after returning from the injury. He's chickening out of tackles.

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