Henry Onyekuru has taken up temporary residence at a downtown hotel as he continues to recover from his knee injury, using the Blues’ top notch medical facilities at Finch Farm. When the forward crashed to the ground just days before Christmas, the initial diagnosis was that he could be out for months, which would have spelled doom for his chances of making Nigeria’s squad for the 2018 World Cup this summer, and possibly a work permit for Everton next season.
However, now it appears that period could be much shorter and though neither the club nor the player are confirming any revised timelines, Onyekuru hopes to return sooner than later.
Speaking to evertonfc.com, the speedy youngster was grateful for the attention he’s been receiving on Merseyside -
“It is amazing here. The people are good people, always friendly and showing care. I feel love and with that love I will recover even more quickly.
“When I first got injured the whole picture was quite bad, but fortunately it was not as severe as we first feared… so, hopefully, I will be back and ready to play before the end of the season.
“The first aim is to get back and finish the season in Belgium. There will be a few weeks of the league season remaining, so it makes sense for me to end the season there and prepare for the World Cup.
“When I got knocked by the goalkeeper I felt so bad and was worried. But since I came here and started having my treatment I have been happy. I am smiling every day.”
The forward has nine goals this season, and is preparing to shoulder the pressure of playing in the Premier League with Everton.
“That is the big difference between Eupen and Anderlecht – when you play in a top club like Anderlecht you have to win. Of course, you do lose some games but if you do… you have to lose fighting. That will help me cope with expectations at Everton.
“My main objective in Anderlecht was to do more than I did last season and to get that Champions League experience. I am learning every day, so to play in that competition and against those teams was so valuable for me.
“My first aim was to sign for a Premier League club. That has been my dream since I was a little boy. I had a couple of offers but I said to myself, ‘it has to be the Premier League’. It is not just the game, it is the passion people in this country have for football.
“Everton is a club that wants to win and always fights. With the facilities, staff and coaches here, I think they can really help me develop even further.”
Here’s wishing young Henry all the very best as he continues his recovery, and we’ll be hoping to see him back in action before the end of the season, and again during this summer’s global showcase in Russia as well.