Gernot Rohr rules out Enyeama making Nigeria's World Cup squad due to his inaction at club level

SUPER Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has ruled out the possibility of former skipper Vincent Enyeama returning to the team ahead of the World Cup saying he has been out of action for a whole year so unfit for competitive football.


Enyeama, 35, was Nigeria's main goalkeeper and skipper up until October 2015 when he fell out with then head coach Sunday Oliseh. Enyeama then retired from international football and focused on his club career with Lille in the French league but at the end of last season, coach Diego Simeone dropped him, saying he was surplus to requirements.


To compound matters, Enyeama suffered a knee injury which kept him out of action and although he is now fit again, he is yet to see competitive action this season. Given Nigeria's goalkeeping problems, the fans want to see Enyeama return to action but Mr Rohr has always maintained that this can only happen if the goalkeeper starts playing at club level again.


During the last January transfer window, several French clubs tried to sign Enyeama but none of them materialised as Lille wanted any new buyer to purchase Enyeama's contract. Now unlikely to see action again before the end of the season, Enyeama is unlikely to make Nigeria's World Cup squad.


On March 23 and 27, the Super Eagles will play Poland in Wroclaw and Serbia in London and Mr Rohr is putting together a 28-man squad to prosecute both matches. It is unlikely that Enyeama will be in the squad, which will be used to determine who are the best 23 to take to Russia in the summer.


Mr Rohr said: "He is not playing anywhere, so we cannot take players who are not playing.  We are working hard to have the best of our legs taken to Russia and we don’t have the luxury of naming a player that has not been playing in recent time.


"Each time we have a problem, there is always a good answer and I hope it will be the same for the World Cup. We currently have so many players in camp and we want to continue monitoring them but the most important thing is for them to be in best shape for the Mundial.’’


Enyeama last played for the first team of Lille on April 15, 2017, when he lasted 65th minutes on the pitch against Rennes in the Ligue 1. Mr Rohr said next month’s friendly fixtures against Poland and Serbia present a big opportunity for players to stake claims for spots in his final squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.


Three other build-up games against Congo, England and Czech Republic are also lined up for May 28, June 2nd and June 6th respectively. Mr Rohr added that in May, the Nigerian Football Federation will release another 30-man list for the other friendly games from which they will draw the final list for the World Cup.