Happiness has deserted Nestory Irankunda’s game since his transfer to football giant Bayern Munich was officially announced in November says Adelaide United coach Carl Veart.
Irankunda, who turned 18 on Friday, was unleashed off the bench on the hour in Adelaide’s 3-3 draw with Perth Glory at Coopers Stadium.
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“Nestor (Irankunda) hasn’t been anywhere his level this year (season) that we expected from him,’’ Veart said.
“Whether the pressure is taking its toll on him, he must start and go back to enjoying his football.
“I just don’t see enough happiness from him at the moment.
“It’s a difficult position that he is in because everyone expects things from him and it’s important, we’re very careful of how much we expect from him.”
Veart wasn’t sure if delaying Irankunda’s announcement to Bayern Munich could have eased the pressure on the rising star.
Irankunda is expected to join Bayern Munich in June.
“I suppose no one’s going to really know that was the best way for it to go,’’ Veart said.
“It (speculation) did go on for a long time and then we hoped that once it got announced he could go back to focusing on playing football.
“He needs to just keep working and it’s important that when he does eventually go there, he keeps his head down and works hard.”
Veart said Irankunda has also had to deal with criticism surrounding the move to the Bundesliga, claiming the club is keeping an eye on his wellbeing via medical professionals.
“Unfortunately, in this country, we make it very difficult for people that we see that are going to have success instead of getting behind them and trying to help them,’’ Veart said.
“We want to knock them down and Nestor takes a lot of this in, and he knows what people are saying and it’s been very difficult for him.
“Hopefully we can keep pushing him to give him a good grounding for what he wants to do.”
However, Veart was content with Adelaide’s ability to bounce back from the brink of another home-ground disaster in Friday’s draw after the Reds had squandered a two-goal lead.
Glory led 3-2 from the 82nd minute until the eighth minute of stoppage time before Panagiotis Kikianis equalised after Veart had made four changes to the starting 11 that were belted 4-0 by Central Coast at Hindmarsh eight days ago.
“I think the first half was what we were looking for and the second half we got a little bit lost,’’ Veart said.
“(We) allowed Perth to dictate a little bit more, sometimes when you’re struggling that confidence is easily knocked out of you, but I was a lot happier with the intent and desire to play.”