Henry Onyekuru seems to stumble from one situation to another.
On May 3rd we covered claims from Belgian newspaper HLN which said Everton and Anderlecht have already agreed another loan deal for next season, but Onyekuru himself wasn’t sure whether to commit.
The player’s agent William D’Avila was quoted confirming the agreement: “That’s correct. If Henry could play in the Champions League with Anderlecht, that would make the conversations easier.”
The following day another Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad said Les Mauves were backing ‘multiple horses’ and also looking at Standard Liege’s Edmilson Junior, so the Everton owned player wasn’t their only option.
And now it’s all got very messy.
Het Nieuwsblad cover claims from Score Nigeria which are, frankly, explosive.
It’s claimed Anderlecht aren’t picking Onyekuru because they don’t want Nigeria to choose him for the World Cup.
Playing for Nigeria at the World Cup would help Onyekuru get a work permit so he could actually play for Everton. The African source insists the youngster is fit and can play, but is being kept off the pitch purposely so he can’t catch Nigeria’s eye.
A source is quoted by Score Nigeria as saying: “Onyekuru not playing since his full recovery from injury is not funny. He has not been played for Anderlecht’s main team after his recovery not because he is not fit but because of what I will call selfish interest.
“The club want him to stay for another season and know Henry will get a work permit to play for Everton if he features at the Russia 2018 World Cup. I think the coach is trying to prevent that from happening.
“Henry has played for the reserve team and it was obvious in those games he is fully fit. In fact the club’s fans are not happy because Anderlecht lost in the championship to Standard Liege at home. They were given impression Henry is not fit but they know he is okay now.”
All this ill feeling dates back to Onyekuru originally suffering his knee injury. Anderlecht’s doctors decided an operation would be necessary but the player disagreed and Everton sided with him.
Initially, Anderlecht angrily backed their medical department publicly, and insisted an operation would happen. But, of course, it didn’t.
Het Nieuwsblad now suggest there’s some kind of fitness issue, relapse, and that’s why the 20 year old isn’t playing.
There’s clearly some mistrust here, and it’s a mess of a situation. If Onyekuru’s camp are worried he’s not being treated fairly, then maybe Everton will be better finding their player a different loan for next season.