Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has included Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia striker Odion Jude Ighalo in his 31-man provisional squad for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification matches against Liberia and Cape Verde on November 13 and 16 respectively.
The three-time African champions are scheduled to play the Lone Stars of Liberia and the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde next month in their final two World Cup qualifying campaign.
The 31-man list will be trimmed to 23 players ahead of the camp opening just days before the away trip to Morocco where the Liberia game will be played.
Ighalo has been said to have opted out of international retirement earlier this week and is now in contention to play his first match since the third place of the Afcon 2019.
Rohr said that he decided to recall the former Manchester United striker due to his leadership abilities.
“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 concluded.
The Al-Shabab striker before his retirement scored 16 goals in 35 games for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Nigeria are in Group C of the qualifiers with Cape Verde, Liberia and Central African Republic. They however top the chart with nine points from four games.