Tuesday May 15, 2018. 12:30
Nigerian media outlets are claiming that Belgian Pro League side Anderlecht have been deliberately overlooking striker Henry Onyekuru in order to keep him at the club.
The Nigerian attacker is currently on loan at Anderlecht from Everton, but has been sidelined in recent months, supposedly because of his continuing recovery from a knee injury.
However, ScoreNigeria quote a source close to the player who alleges that Anderlecht have deliberately left him out of the team in a plan to keep him at the club for another season.
By restricting his game time, the Belgian side have ensured that the 20-year-old was left out of Nigeria’s preliminary World Cup squad – which was named yesterday – therefore ensuring he doesn’t appear at Russia 2018.
This in turn makes it more difficult for Onyekuru to receive a work permit in the United Kingdom (which he would need in order to play for Everton), thus increasing the likelihood that he will have another spell on loan at Anderlecht.
“Onyekuru not playing since his full recovery from injury is not funny,” said the source, according to ScoreNigeria.
“He has not been played for Anderlecht 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 knowing that Henry will get a work permit to play for Everton if he featured at Russia 2018. I think the coach is trying to prevent that from happening.
“Henry has played for reserve team and it was obvious in those games he is fully fit.
“In fact the club fans are not happy because Anderlecht lost the championship to Standard Liege at home. They were given impression Henry is not fit but they know he is okay now.”