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Uzoho or Okoye? Nigeria's Peseiro urged to decide just like Germany have with Neuer and Ter Stegen

2:38 PM GMT+4 14/10/2022
Okoye, Uzoho
Delẹ Aiyenugba has called on Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro to make a decision on who is the first-choice keeper between Maduka Okoye and Francis Uzoho.
  • Uzoho's blunder gifted Ghana in World Cup playoffs
  • Okoye was at fault as Nigeria lost to Tunisia
  • Enyeama was first choice but retired in 2015

WHAT HAPPENED? Since Vincent Enyeama retired as the number one keeper for the Super Eagles in 2015, Nigeria have struggled to get a permanent replacement with the position exchanging hands between Francis Uzoho and Maduka Okoye for the most part.

Uzoho plays for Cypriot outfit Omonia Nicosia while Okoye features for EFL Championship side Watford.

While Okoye is finding it difficult to break into the starting XI for the Hornets, the 23-year-old Uzoho started for Omonia against Manchester United in a Europa League fixture on Thursday.

He frustrated the Red Devils with 12 incredible saves before he was finally beaten with a last-gasp strike from substitute Scott McTominay at Old Trafford.

It is for this reason Aiyenugba, who currently turns out for Kwara United in the Nigerian Professional League, believes it is high time the Portuguese tactician made a bold decision to find his permanent number one.

WHAT DID AIYENUGBA SAY? “I just hope the coach in the national team will be patient and try to look for a number one. You need to have a number one in your team," the 38-year-old Aiyenugba said as quoted by allnigeriasoccer.com.

"This is what is going on. They've not had a number one for about three years now. During our own time we had a number one, that's the reality. If you take a look at Germany they have Manuel [Neuer] and Ter Stegen. Neuer is number 1, Ter Stegen is doing well also, you just need to wait for your time. Groom your number one, support him. Mistakes will come but you need to support him. Give him the courage, the motivation he needs.

"You need to do that because the goalkeeping department is very dicey. You just need to find that number one."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Uzoho and Okoye have not had good times while representing the Super Eagles, each committing blunders during matches. For example, Uzoho's mistake gifted Ghana the away goal during the 2022 Fifa World Cup playoffs fixture against Ghana.

Meanwhile, Okoye's howler came during the 33rd edition Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, when he failed to stop the ball that allowed Tunisia beat Nigeria 1-0 in the Round of 16 fixture.

WHAT NEXT FOR UZOHO AND OKOYE? Uzoho will be fighting for the starting role when Omonia face Nea Salamis in a Cypriot First Division fixture at GSP Stadium on October 17.

Meanwhile, Okoye's Watford will be at home against Norwich City at Vicarage Road on Saturday.