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Alonso: Why Boniface has played fewer minutes since return from injury

Alonso: Why Boniface has played fewer minutes since return from injury
May 22
15:52 2024

Xabi Alonso, manager of Bayer Leverkusen, says Victor Boniface has not returned to the team’s starting line-up because of the “wide squad” at the club’s disposal. 

Alonso spoke at the press conference ahead of the Europa League final between Leverkusen and Atlanta on Wednesday.

Boniface was a mainstay on the Leverkusen line-up sheet until he suffered a groin injury while preparing for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) with the Super Eagles in January.

The injury ruled him out for three months, and since his return in April, the 23-year-old had started just three games for the Bundesliga champions.


Speaking on the Nigerian’s reduced role in the team, Alonso said the club is still “helping him to be back on track” following his recovery from the injury.

The manager said he is happy with the player because he “has helped us so much”.

“After the injury, it takes time. But we have a wide squad with so many players, and they all want to be on the pitch. I like it when someone is not playing, and he shows the character to prove me wrong as a coach. That is the challenge and the professional thing,” Alonso said.


“I am happy with Boni. His impact this season has helped us so much. We are helping him, too, get back on track. Tell people from Nigeria that we are happy with him.”

On May 15, Boniface was named the best rookie in Germany’s Bundesliga for the 2023/24 season and has continued to flourish despite the limited minutes.

At the weekend, Leverkusen became the first team to finish a Bundesliga season without a defeat. The team also remain unbeaten in all competitions and could win their second trophy of the season against Atlanta.

Ademola Lookman, Super Eagles winger, is expected to feature in the final for the Italian side.


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