Monaco boss Niko Kovac has given the strongest indication yet of his confidence in Nigeria international Henry Onyekuru.
The 23-year-old joined Monaco in the summer of 2019 from Premier League side Everton, after failing to secure a work permit. Following a change in system under former manager Leonardo Jardim, Onyekuru spent 2019/20 on loan with Turkish side Galatasaray for the second season in a row.
The appointment of Kovac, who was sacked by Bayern Munich following a poor run of results in November 2019, appears to have given the winger a new lease on life. Onyekuru started and laid on a goal in last weekend’s friendly victory over AZ Alkmaar, and now looks set to begin the season as part of Monaco’s starting 11.
“You have certainly seen how we played against AZ,” Kovac said in his pre-match press conference ahead of Monaco’s season opener against Reims. “We played well, we were well prepared to line up in a 4-3-3. But the system is not important to me, it is mainly the attitude of the players that I watch.
“Henry (Onyekuru) and Gelson (Martins) bring us work on the wings, we know their qualities. I have confidence in them, and I think we have one of the best pair of wingers in France.”