Although, only a raving lunatic will attribute anything remotely positive to the coronavirus virus epidemic that is currently ravaging the global community, one thing is for sure: the pause placed on international football is something of a blessing in disguise for Super Eagles number one goalkeeper Francis Uzoho.
You see, just when the 21 year old goal-minder – who has recently come out to admonish the mockery made of his age by some Super Eagles supporters across social media platforms – was regaining his number one slot snatched by Daniel Akpeyi, injury struck in the friendly match against Brazil on 13 October 2019 whilst posting powerful performances aimed at pressing home the point that he had no intentions of loosing his grip on the number one position for some time yet.
But sadly, he landed awkwardly on his knee with sight as painful to watch as it was being felt by the 2018 World Cup participant.
Uzoho would be out for at least 6 months after damaging his knee ligament.It is also not inconceivable to add another 2 months to that, give-or-take, for enhanced convalescence to reduce the possibility for a relapse.
In that time, Uzoho would have missed no less than 4 – 6 national team assignments; enough games for another net-minder to usurp the Cyprus-based gollie.
In Uzoho’s absence, the following are happening: Akpeyi’s career for club and has shown remarkable resurgence seeing him win several individual awards with spellbinding performances and deft saves.
Maduka Okoye made his Super Eagles debut and was even recalled at times for his main club in the German Bundesliga. A little-known former under 17 goalkeeper Adebayo Adeleye is making waves in the Isreali division 2 with breathtakingly beautiful displays and on the cusp of leading his club’s turbo charge to division 1.
Others like Sebastian Osigwe, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and even Dele Alampasu have relentlessly made moves to bring themselves back into reckoning.
However, the halting of football activities under the current atmosphere has bought Uzoho much needed time and breathing space.
By the time football resumes, he should be in the fray to mount a far favourable challenge at regaining his number one position for the national team (currently held by the much maligned, widely criticised Daniel Akpeyi).
I get the sense that that position is still very much up for grabs – this condition has created a somewhat level playing field for contenders and pretenders alike.