The calls for goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama to return to the Super Eagles in time for next year’s World Cup have returned with full force after Ikechukwu Ezenwa did not exactly cover himself in glory with a less-than-reassuring display against Algeria in Constantine.
Clubless Ezenwa must be the luckiest man on the planet when he fumbled a corner in the 61st minute only for Algeria’s Aissa Mandi to head wide when it would have been much easier to score.
He also seemed to struggle with aerial balls delivered from the flanks in this inconsequential 2018 World Cup qualifier.
It would therefore be safe to say the goalkeeping crisis which hit the Super Eagles in the middle for the qualifiers for Russia 2018 is very much back on.
“Ezenwa has just penned Enyeama’s invitation letter with his error-laden performance tonight. #bringbackenyeama,” Olajide Israel tweeted.
“Ezenwa will cost us at the World Cup against deadlier strikers,” warned Lagos football fan Segun Alimi.
“We need to get Enyeama back in time for the World Cup,” added another fan, Abubakar Suleman, who was far from impressed with the performance Ezenwa delivered in Algeria.
The clamour for Enyeama to be recalled is trending on Twitter.
Ezenwa was inspired and at his best in his first Eagles start against Cameroon in Uyo in September and he was one of the reasons Nigeria posted a massive 4-0 home win on the day.
But the same goalkeeper got millions of Nigerians worried again after he bundled down an opponent inside the box for a penalty, which Vincent Aboubakar converted for the Indomitable Lions to hold the Eagles to a 1-1 draw in Yaounde.
Nigeria would have qualified for the World Cup on that day, but for that blunder.
Enyeama, on the other hand, is close to returning to action after a long-term knee injury.
He is not only Nigeria’s most successful goalkeeping export, but the country’s most capped international.
And should he now come back to be half as good as he was before the injury, he should be the man in goal for Nigeria in Russia next year because besides current form, the experience of playing at three World Cups must count for something.
Plateau United champion goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye, Dele Aiyenugba and Dele Alampasu will be other options to seriously consider leading up to the World Cup.