Former Manchester United star Odion Ighalo is back in the national team fold almost three years after he retired from international football
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has said that Al-Shabab forward is in his provisional squad for Nigeria’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde and Liberia.
The Super Eagles take on the Blue Sharks and the Lone Stars in their final group qualifying games, and Rohr has revealed that the former Watford is part of the squad.
Rohr revealed he decided to recall Ighalo because of his leadership, although it is still left for the 32-year-old striker to accept the invitation.
“I put him in the bigger provisional first list for the next games, Rohr said in a Q&A on Elegbete TV.
“He is doing very well at his club, and he still has the ambition to help his country. Because we miss his leadership, we miss his experience. We miss the goals he scores.
“He was the best scorer at the AFCON, the best scorer during the qualifiers, and I think we have so many young players, and they could learn a lot on the side of such a great player.
Ighalo is a very important man. I hope that he can come back,” he added.
The Al-Shabab striker retired from international duty after Nigeria’s third-place finish at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, where he finished as the top scorer with five goals.
Before his retirement, he scored 16 goals in 35 games for the Super Eagles.
But Former Nigerian international Sylvanus Okpalas has dismissed the possible return of Ighalo to the Super Eagles, stressing such a decision is not right.
Okpala who was an assistant coach to late Stephen Keshi in the national team, said the Super Eagles and Nigeria as a whole, have younger players that can fit in the striking position.
“If I am the coach, I will not let it happen, ”Okpala told brila.net.“There are lots of young players in Nigeria (home and abroad) to occupy that slot he will be coming to take”