Sometimes our job at Sport Witness can be difficult, on a quiet day you may find us trawling around lesser known football countries trying to find out something about a reserve left-back joining a League One side.
And then other times it’s like painting-by-numbers. Now is one of those times.
After yesterday covering eyebrow-raising claims from Nigeria which accused Anderlecht of purposely sabotaging Henry Onyekuru’s World Cup chances by not playing him, there was always going to be something new from Belgium today.
That’s because Nigeria announced their 30 man provisional World Cup squad on Monday, and the Everton owned player isn’t in it.
The accusations against Anderlecht had claimed the club purposely weren’t playing Onyekuru, despite him being fit, so he wouldn’t be picked for Nigeria and couldn’t then get a work permit to allow him to play for Everton.
The reasoning was to have the player on loan in Belgium again next year, so a ‘selfish’ motive.
Regardless of whether one chooses to believe all that or not, there’s almost clearly an issue between the footballer and Anderlecht.
Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad report the squad announcement has left Onyekuru ‘disillusioned’ and he doubts whether he wants to play for Anderlecht next season, despite the club having an agreement with Everton.
The 20 year old already had doubts, and now he has more.
Putting all the claims of the past few days to one side, Onyekuru was always going to take this as a huge blow. He avoided surgery, against an annoyed Anderlecht’s wishes, so he could be ready for the World Cup.
Playing for Everton in the Premier League is the youngster’s dream and he’s filled with impatience and a feeling that situations, and perhaps Anderlecht, have been unfair to him.
Maybe a loan somewhere else in Belgium wouldn’t be a bad idea. Club Brugges, just crowned as champions, being the obvious candidate.
Then Onyekuru could, if he’s as annoyed as suggested, aim to teach Anderlecht a lesson and also play European football, hopefully in the Champions League.