Earlier this week, the Nigeria Football Federation President Amaju Melvin Pinnick stated that the Super Eagles might be seeing the return of an ex international.
He revealed the identity of the player and it was Odion Ighalo.
Odion Ighalo retired from national team duties immediately after the AFCON 2019 held in Egypt where he helped Nigeria claim the bronze medal and also winning the golden boot with five goals scored.
“I had a long conversation with Odion lghalo, personally i believe we need experience in our attack to combine with our energically youthful
Osimhen, Onuachu, Kelechi et al.
“Odion body language is very positive. We are also in touch with his agents and club. The vibe going into these last 2 games and indeed AFCON is very good.”
Talks of the 32 year old making a return to the team has been on for quite a time now, most especially when he was on fire for Manchester United in 2019/2020 season.
As at then, his successor Victor Osimhen was also at Lille banging in goals. He however re-echoed that Ighalo’s return to the National team is not a threat to him in any form.
The 22 year old last year was quoted by OJBSPORT saying he doesn’t feel threatened by the talks of Ighalo coming out of retirement and he will always welcome Ighalo to the team with joy.
“He is always welcome, he contributed a lot for the National team and even at the Afcon in 2019, whether I am playing or I’m on the bench, watching him from the side will also help me learn a lot from him. I have no problem with it at all”.
Osimhen played one game at the Afcon 2019, he was introduced at the beginning of the second half of the third place game against Tunisia for the injured Odion Ighalo.
Furthermore, Osimhen declared that Ighalo is an inspiration to him and to the football world in general.
“Ighalo is a very good forward and inspirational player, not just for Nigeria but also for the footballing world. I draw some inspiration from him”.
Osimhen is a having a fire packed season with Napoli in the Serie A and the UEFA Europa League with him scoring nine goals in his eleven appearances all together.
Odion Ighalo’s possible return to the Super Eagles rank, will no doubt heighten the competition for starting role in the attack, and would be a welcome development if eventually, it comes to reality.