Recently, two Super Eagles goalkeepers, Francis Uzoho and Maduka Okoye moved from their bases or previous clubs to Hapoel Nicosia and Sparta Rotterdam.
Surely, the moves are for the interests of their careers. To secure enough playing time, to remain fit and relevant and of course to get better pay.
But beyond these, Nigerians are expecting these moves to rub off on the national team, the Super Eagles especially when they consider that the goalkeeping department of the team has recently been suffering of lack of quality goaltenders.
To put it mild, the coaches have been carrying out trial and error on the performance of the goalkeepers yet it has been very difficult to secure a true first choice goalkeeper for the team.
From Francis Uzoho who was first choice at Russia 2018 World Cup to Ikechukwu Ezenwa who later took charge briefly to the current in-form goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi to yet to be tested Maduka Okoye, none has been fully consistent. It has been one brilliant display today and a shambolic or catastrophic performance the next day.
In the past, we have seen the likes of Emmanuel Okala, Best Ogedegbe, Peter Rufai, Alloy Agu, Ike Shorunmu and Vincent Enyeama standing between the sticks for a longer period on account of their imposing, brilliant and consistent performances.
The story is not the same today. It is one competition or tournament, one goalkeeper. As it stands, most Nigerian football enthusiasts and fans of the Super Eagles don't even trust any of the goalkeepers....in terms of performance in goal.
So will the move of both goalkeepers change the narrative? For Uzoho, it is a known fact that even if he gets regular playing time, the league he is presently is not as competitive as Spain, Portugal, England, France, Holland, Italy or Belgium. This will affect his form when Super Eagles play against a team with players in bigger leagues.
For Maduka, it is good he is moving out of being a fourth choice goalkeeper at Fortuna Desseldorf to a team which will possibly grant him a second choice goalkeeper's glove if he fails to get the first choice shirt. This will improve his form and possibly place him on the path of fighting for Super Eagles first choice shirt.
In all, there is a ring of uncertainty or probability surrounding the future of both goalkeepers in the Super Eagles because their chances in the team will depend on their club forms. As the coaches continue the search for a top quality goalkeeper, perhaps Uzoho and Okoye will strive to keep their places in the pack.
Best wishes to the goalkeepers!