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“If they want me, I’ll come back” – Lorient-owned Nigerian star eyes Beveren stay after injury return

Nigerian winger Taofeek Ismaheel is back on the pitch after recovering from a knee injury.

Ismaheel, who is currently on loan from the French Lorient to SK Beveren until the end of the season, recently spoke to Nieuwsblad about his injury comeback and his possible return to Lorient.

Ismaheel suffered the injury during a match against Beerschot in the first match after the winter break. The initial predictions were not good, but the final diagnosis was better than expected.

Ismaheel recalled the difficult phase, stating that he couldn’t walk and feared the worst, but he never feared the end of his football career. He believes that setbacks can help one come back stronger in life. The 22-year-old also admitted that the rehabilitation was mentally challenging, with ups and downs.

Ismaheel on injury

“At first I couldn’t walk. I even fell down when I tried to straighten up,” says the 22-year-old flank attacker. 

“I feared the worst. I especially did not want to have surgery. All sorts of crazy things were going through my mind. By the way, did you know that this was only the first real injury of my career? But I never feared the end of my football career. It’s a good experience.

“Sometimes in life, you need a setback to come back stronger. It wasn’t easy mentally, I must admit. One week the rehabilitation went very smoothly; the other week, I had a backlash. At that moment you ask yourself if you will ever be able to play at the same level again. So it went with ups and downs.”

Ismaheel’s debut for SK Beveren was also a difficult one. He was allowed to come in during his first home game but was taken off only fifteen minutes later. Despite the setback, he continued to believe in himself and worked harder to prove himself to the coach and the team.

With Ismaheel’s return to the pitch, SK Beveren has an extra trump card in the title fight. The team is competing with other clubs to secure a place in the Jupiler Pro League. Ismaheel believes the team can still win the title and celebrate promotion with Beveren. He prioritizes winning the title over personal accolades and believes it would give him more satisfaction.

Ismaheel, on Lorient’s return

As for his future, Ismaheel is not yet concerned and is focused on the title fight.

However, he stated that if SK Beveren want him to stay, he would return without hesitation. Ismaheel believes that it’s better to play somewhere where everyone already knows you, and that’s better for his development. He chose SK Beveren to play and develop himself rather than sitting on the bench.

Ismaheel added, “My focus is now on the title fight; I am not yet concerned with my future. Beveren is a beautiful club. If they want me to stay, I’ll come back. A hundred percent.

“Sometimes it’s better to play somewhere where everyone already knows you. That is better for your development. I could perhaps earn more with other teams, but I chose Beveren to be able to play and develop myself. At my age, you have to play, not sit on the couch.”

Ismaheel’s comeback is a great boost for SK Beveren in the title race, and his dedication and determination to prove himself will be crucial for the team’s success.

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