Odion Ighalo Considering A Return To Nigeria National Team

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odion ighalo nigeria footballer

Odion Ighalo, a former Manchester United striker who now plays as a striker for Saudi Arabia club Al Shabab, says he will have to decide on whether to return to the Nigeria national team.

Recall that the 31-year old (born on the 16th of June, 1989) retired from international football immediately after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations – finishing as the top scorer. But he’s now wanted by Gernot Rohr.

When asked by BBC Sport Africa, if an international comeback is possible, Ighalo said: “I have been approached by the coach, but I haven’t decided yet whether this is a path I want to follow again.

We have been talking about it for a while and hopefully, soon I will make a decision.”

He added…

“I need to decide because I have huge respect for my country and the coach, so it’s only fair to let people know where you stand,”

Since he announced his retirement from international football, the Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen has been filling the void for the Super Eagles and he’s the overall top scorer in the 2021 Nations Cup qualifying.

But, Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr has struggled to find another striker who can assist and partner Osimhen at the front. Although, players like Paul Onuachu and Kelechi Iheanacho have been available for selection they have since failed to convince the German.

Ighalo’s recent form both from his loan spell in England and currently at his new club Al-Shabab of Saudi Arabia, where he has now found the net three times and an assist in five appearances, has led to the German calling for his return to the team.

Odion Ighalo captained the nation’s youth side at the Under-20 World Cup in 2009. But had to wait until March 2015 for his debut with the Nigeria national team where they played against Uganda. He represented the nation at the 2018 World Cup but failed to find the back of the net.

But in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign, Ighalo turned the table around scoring 7 goals to become the top scorer of the tournament in Egypt. His performance led Nigeria to a third-place finish at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Ighalo, who made only two tournament appearances for the Nigeria Super Eagles, scored 16 goals at the international level, ranking him among the country’s top six all-time goal scorers.

 

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