Former Super Eagles goalkeeper Ike Shorunmu says Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr should not get stampeded into any hasty decisions on Carl Ikeme’s replacement in the national team.
Wolves goalkeeper Ikeme is undergoing treatment after being diagnosed with acute leukaemia on Thursday.
As the 31-year-old Nigeria first choice keeper faces a long spell out as he fights the disease, his replacement in the Eagles has become the subject of heated debate in town.
And former Eagles’ goalkeeping coach Shorunmu warns Rohr he should be very careful while making his decisions on the issue.
The 2000 Africa Cup of Nations silver medallist believes keepers Daniel Akpeyi, Dele Alampasu and Ikechukwu Ezenwa are good enough for starting roles in the Eagles.
Shorunmu said former team’s first choice Vincent Enyeama should not be pressured to come out of his international retirement, saying the unsettled Lille custodian should be allowed to decide if he wants to return to the national team.
“Rohr shouldn’t bring in a keeper who has not been part of the team as some people are suggesting, he must be very careful while making his decisions,” the former Besiktas star, who represented Nigeria at the Korea/Japan 2002 World Cup, told our correspondent on the telephone on Monday.
“Akpeyi, Alampasu and Ezenwa are good keepers, and we should believe in them.
“We can boost their confidence by believing in them and encouraging them to succeed.
“Rohr can pick of them as Ikeme’s replacement.”
He disagreed with football pundits and commentators who have called for Rohr to omit Akpeyi from his squad for the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying double-header against Cameroon following his poor performance in the 2-0 defeat handed the Eagles by South Africa in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo on June 10. The former Stationery Stores keeper insisted that the Chippa United shot-stopper has the quality to replace Ikeme.
Shorunmu said, “Akpeyi shouldn’t be blamed for our defeat by South Africa. We lost the game because we didn’t play our full team.
“He was right to come out of his line in an attempt to stop the second goal. It was the best decision, but unfortunately he couldn’t prevent the goal.”
The former Switzerland-based keeper added, “Rohr should not allow people to put him under pressure to invite Enyeama.
“Enyeama is still good but Rohr should be very careful. He should allow Enyeama to decide if he wants to return to the team.
“Enyeama knows why he decided to retire from the national team. He understands his body better than anyone else.
“After the 2002 World Cup, I was under pressure to return to the national team but I said no. I know why I took the decision.
“The coach should allow invite a new keeper to the team to learn. It will be a big mistake to abandon the keepers who have experience for someone who has not played top-level football.”