English Premier League legend Augustine Azuka “Jay-Jay” Okocha has heaped praise on Kaizer Chiefs and fellow Nigerian goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.
Akpeyi who is currently on international duty for Nigeria at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations may be struggling to break into the Super Eagle’s first team however ‘Jay-Jay’ has stressed the importance of the Amakhosi keeper.
Daniel Akpeyi has leapfrogged the likes of Ituemeleng Khune, Bruce Bvuma and Brandon Petersen at Kaizer Chiefs and has earned a regular starting berth under Stuart Baxter this season.
While he may be on the bench for Nigeria currently, the former AFCON winner believes the background work Akpeyi is doing for the Super Eagles is highly important.
Jay-Jay Okocha showers Kaizer Chiefs star with praise
“Daniel is a very important player for the squad,” ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha told the Amakhosi media department.
“He only lost his place through injury and it shows how strong the whole squad is, because once you miss out because of injury it is always difficult to get back for a goalkeeper.
“We believe we have a great squad and we have people like Daniel we can rely on if needed. It is a plus for us as the keeper’s role is very important. And it is important to have someone you can rely on if your defence is breached.” he added regarding the Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper.
“I am happy that we have a happy competition in our goalkeeping department and it is a plus for any coach.”
Baxter explains why Akpeyi is his trusted choice
“We’ve got four goalkeepers that are potentially number ones. You can look at the long term of the club, the assets are Bruce Bvuma and Brandon Petersen.” Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter said earlier this season.
“Ituemeleng Khune and Daniel Akpeyi give us that experience and we are hoping they will help and assist in the development of our two younger goalkeepers.
“We have to take every opportunity we can, if all things are equal, to give our younger Kaizer Chiefs goalkeepers the experience that will make them senior goalkeepers. That’s where we are.
“At some point, you say well let’s allow them to step back a little bit and give the more experienced guys the shirt in this situation. That’s the rationale behind our thinking.”