Wednesday Aug 07, 2019. 17:00
The Nigeria international joined Kaizer Chiefs on the final day of the January transfer window this year, as cover for the injured Itumeleng Khune.
But, with the Bafana Bafana shot-stopper nearing full fitness, Akpeyi’s future at the club looks – from the outside at least – growingly uncertain.
Akpeyi, 33, started the club’s opening game of the 2019/20 Absa Premiership season, a 3-2 win over Highlands Park, on the bench, as second choice to Bruce Bvuma.
Head coach Ernst Middendorp immediately entrusted Akpeyi by handing him a starting spot a few days after his move from Chippa United was confirmed, but a notable error against Polokwane City ultimately led to Bvuma taking over in goal.
The two continued to share the responsibility up until the end of last season, but despite his unconvincing run at club level, he still started the Super Eagles 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign as their No. 1 choice between the posts.
Akpeyi, though, returned to the bench this past weekend with the younger Bvuma starting the season in goal for the Glamour Boys.
“With ‘Itu’ [Khune] out injured‚ we are obviously challenged when it comes to experience and we had to look for an experienced goalkeeper who will take us forward and compete with the challenges that we had,” Amakhosi football manager Bobby Motaung said on Akpeyi’s arrival earlier this year.
“We left the issue in the hands of the goalkeeper-coach [Lee Baxter] to look for someone and fortunately on Wednesday we finally came into discussion with Chippa‚ and they were willing to release him to us.
“It was a blessing to get an experienced goalkeeper like him who was at the FIFA World Cup [in Russia] last year.”
With Khune close to full fitness, it remains to be seen what the future holds for Akpeyi who could well be on his way out of Naturena come the New Year.