The South Africa based shot-stopper is the most experienced goalkeeper in Gernot Rohr’s lineup but a younger compatriot, Francis Uzoho, was preferred to him at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Kaizer Chiefs’ Daniel Akpeyi has been with the Super Eagles for seven years. Yet, he has failed to lock down his spot as Nigeria’s undisputed first-choice goalkeeper because of his unreliable nerves, says former Nigeria international goalkeeper Ike Shorunmu.
Akpeyi was first called to the national team in 2013. He made his international debut two years later in a friendly tie against South Africa at the Mbombela Stadium, where he helped Nigeria to a one-all draw with a man-of-the-match performance.
But after playing understudy to first Vincent Enyeama and later Carl Ikeme, Akpeyi was projected to one day become the Eagles number one.
The 33-year-old has, however, failed to convince the national team coaches, who promoted Uzoho ahead of him in Russia.
At the Afcon in Egypt, Rohr rotated between the trio of Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Uzoho, and Akpeyi, although Akpeyi enjoyed more playing time.
Former Super Eagles goalkeeping coach Shorunmu thinks Akpeyi, who has been excellent at his club, is often nervous during international assignments, which has robbed him of the coaches’ confidence.
“Daniel Akpeyi has been with the team for a long time, and he has been doing well for his club,” Shorunmu said in an interview, as per New Telegraph.
“But whenever he comes to the national team, I don’t know what always makes him to be shaky.
“But I believe the (Nigeria) goalkeeper coach, Alloy Agu, is in the best position to decide who and who should be the number one among the goalkeepers in the team at the moment.”