Victor Boniface news: Super Eagles striker on schedule for injury return

Bayer Leverkusen have received a welcoming injury boost, with forward Victor Boniface on schedule to make a recovery from injury.

Boniface was on a great run of form for the Bundesliga outfit before a groin injury abruptly halted his bright start to the season.

The Nigeria international was in Dubai with his country to camp ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) in Ivory Coast when he suffered an unfortunate injury.

Victor Boniface on schedule for injury return
Photo by Icon Sport

He was subsequently ruled out of the AFCON, with the Super Eagles going on to secure a runners-up medal after losing to hosts Ivory Coast in the final.

Victor Boniface on schedule for injury return

Boniface immediately returned to Leverkusen to begin his rehabilitation and has since been spotted walking with crutches.

However, the latest update on his injury is that the former Union SG striker is on schedule to make a return within the next two months.

The 23-year-old underwent surgery on his abductor in January and was given a return date of April. The Sporting Director for Bayer Leverkusen Simon Rolfes has now confirmed that the striker is on schedule to return from injury.

Rofles told Bild that Boniface has returned to light training and is also now able to walk on his own after putting away his crutches last week. He said the Nigeria international was, therefore, on his way back to full fitness, although it could still take more than a month before he returns to the pitch.

‘A complete striker’

Before his injury, Boniface was in imperious form for Xabi Alonso’s side, who remain unbeaten in all competitions after 33 matches – a new record in the German topflight. The striker took the Bundesliga by storm in his debut campaign, scoring 10 goals in 16 matches for Leverkusen.

His all-round play also came to the fore, with his link-up and athleticism helping the club to unlock low-block opposition, while he also contributed seven assists in the German topflight.

Boniface’s form also extended to Europe, where he has been involved in five goals in five matches (four goals and one assist) in the UEFA Europa League. Leverkusen boss Alonso previously described Boniface as a complete striker and not just a fox in the box

“He's not just a classic striker, not just a bomber – he's complete. We are happy with him, he has scored four goals so far, but we expect more,” Alonso said of the 23-year-old, as earlier in the season, quoted by The Mirror.

A busy summer for in-demand Boniface

Meanwhile, Boniface continues to be chased by several clubs in Europe and is set to be one of the most in-demand players in the summer.

The Nigerian striker has so far been tight-lipped on his future, but multiple reports suggest the likes of Chelsea, Juventus, Arsenal and PSG are all monitoring his situation.

The Blues haven’t had a potent striker in the last two years following a standoff with want-away forward Romelu Lukaku, who is currently on loan at AS Roma and has no intention of returning to Stamford Bridge.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side are, therefore, looking for a clinical forward to augment their youthful squad. Arsenal have also been mentioned as a potential destination for Boniface, with Mikel Arteta said to be a huge admirer of the striker’s hold-up play and prolificacy.

Meanwhile, Juventus are also reportedly keeping tabs on Boniface as they plan to overhaul their squad at the end of the season to start a rebuild. The Bianconeri will be without Olivier Giroud next season, with the Frenchman’s contract set to expire in the summer and both parties having no plans for a renewal.

Also, PSG could swoop for Boniface after Kylian Mbappe finally made the decision to join Real Madrid in June. With the Leverkusen striker’s rehabilitation going according to plan, it remains to be seen which side he will join when the summer transfer window opens.

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Emmanuel Ayamga

Emmanuel Ayamga is an African sports writer, with bylines on DW, Al Jazeera, World Soccer Magazine and These Football Times.