Uzoenyi finds CHAN redemption

 

After two man of the match awards at the CHAN tournament there is every chance Ejike Uzoenyi has done enough to throw his hat back into the World Cup ring with the Super Eagles.

It’s not like the Aba born winger is an unknown quantity. He was in the squad that travelled to the Africa Cup of Nations last January, also in South Africa, but only made a brief cameo appearance after his form fell away despite some initially inspiring qualification performances in the qualifiers in both the World Cup and the AFCON.

Having enjoyed a promising start to life with the national team, the former Enyimba player's problems started when he moved to Rennes of France on a short loan after the 2013 Cup of Nations. The French club promised they would make it permanent if he impressed them during the loan spell.

Unfortunately he didn’t. He couldn't get playing time for the club and also lost his place in the national squad as other players that featured more prominently for their clubs helped secure the World Cup ticket and went to the Confederations Cup.

After the Rennes disappointment Uzoenyi then did something totally different for a Nigerian footballer trying to make his way in Europe. He didn’t start scouring the continent’s more-obscure nations for a club willing to take him on. Instead he returned to the club that loaned him to France, Enugu Rangers.

With a squad carved apart by players seeking contracts abroad, Stephen Keshi gave him another chance to re-launch his international career with the CHAN side.

The great news is that so far he has grabbed that chance and is the star of the Nigerian show.

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