Nigeria’s senior national football team Head Coach, Gernot Rohr, has admitted that Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia forward, Odion Ighalo, is back in the Super Eagles and has been listed for action in next month’s World Cup qualifiers.
The 32-year-old AFCON 2019 top scorer on five goals retired from Eagles two years ago after helping Nigeria to win the third place bronze medal in Egypt.
But yesterday, in an interview on Elegbete TV, the Franco-German gaffer confirmed what has been speculating on the social media that Ighalo was going to be recalled to the team.
Rohr insisted he missed the leadership quality of the former Manchester United on loan player.
“We miss his leadership, we miss his experience and 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,” observed Rohr in the interview monitored in Lagos.
The Super Eagles supremo further hinted that he first put Ighalo in the provisional first list for the next matches against Liberia and Cape Verde.
“I put him in the bigger provisional first list for the next games. We are in touch. He is doing very well at his club and still has the ambition to help his country.” Rohr stressed in apparent response to Nigerian ball fans who will want to ask why pull him out of retirement with several youngsters doing excellently well for both country and clubs.
With the likes of Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho, Paul Onuachu, Taiwo Awoniyi, Terem Moffi and Sadiq Umar in excellent form, the return of Ighalo may translate to the exclusion of any of the listed young players.
Super Eagles will be hoping to beat Liberia on November 11 in Morocco, before wrapping up the second round of the 2022 World Cup qualification four days later in Lagos against Cape Verde.
Nigeria lead Group C with nine points, two points clear of closest rivals Cape Verde. Eagles need just two points from this last two group games to advance to the final playoffs March next year.