'Knows exactly what to do' - Antwerp coach reveals Yusuf is certainly an option to replace injured KeitaPublished: October 25, 2023
Speaking at the pre-match press conference before Antwerp's UEFA Champions League meeting with Porto, manager Mark van Bommel confirmed that Alhassan Yusuf is 'certainly one of the options' to replace Belgium international Mandela Keita.
Mark van Bommel will not be able to count on the services of the influential defensive midfielder on Wednesday due to the injury he suffered in the first half of the Jupiler Pro League tie against RSC Charleroi last weekend.
Yusuf has been playing a bit part role for Antwerp since recovering a muscle injury in March 2023 and has not started a game for the Belgian champions since two and a half months ago when he logged ninety minutes at RSC Anderlecht.
The absence of Mandela Keita could pave the way for the Nigerian to make his full Champions League debut after coming off the bench in his two previous matches against Barcelona and Shakhtar Donetsk.
In quotes relayed by Het Laatste Nieuws, Van Bommel said: "Yusuf played everything before his injury, until the winter break. Then 'Mandy' joined the selection, also because Yusuf was still injured.
"But I have to say: Yusuf always trains well. Not exactly obvious for someone who was first a starter and then didn't start for a long time.
"He is certainly one of the options in that position. And when he plays, he knows exactly what to do."
Antwerp are looking for their first win in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League after losses to Barcelona and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Super Eagles left-back Zaidu Sanusi is recovering from a muscle-related injury and was not named in Porto's traveling squad to Belgium.
Photo Credit: royalantwerpfc.be
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