"Super Eagles" Nigerian National Football Team

Why Ighalo Still Potentially Has a Role to Play With Super Eagles

His dream spell at Manchester United may have come to an end, however Odion Ighalo still potentially has a role to play in the Nigerian national team. That is the opinion of Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr, who has talked up the chance of the 31-year-old making a return to the international scene.

Ighalo signed a permanent deal with Saudi club Al Shabab last month, having enjoyed an extended loan spell at Old Trafford prior to this. Ighalo announced his retirement following the 2019 African Cup of Nations, where the striker finished the tournament as top goalscorer. However, it appears that a return could well be on the cards.

What Rohy Had to Say on the Future of Ighalo

Ahmed Musa - Maxisport / Shutterstock.com

Ahmed Musa – Maxisport / Shutterstock.com

Nigeria will be one of the favourites with the bookies to reach the final of the African Cup of Nations later this year, however whether Ighalo is a part of the Super Eagles squad remains to be seen. Rohr was asked about Ighalo, as well as Ahmed Musa of late, with the German stating that:

“He’s fit, playing regularly for his new club (Al Shabab), a big club in Saudi Arabia, and doing well, there’s no reason not to have him back. We also had Ahmed Musa when he was playing in Saudi Arabia. He is an experienced player and we have a very young team, he will help the young players to develop and he will also score goals.”

Why Ighalo Would Be an Asset to Nigeria

Ighalo has 16 goals from 35 international appearances to date, having made his debut back in 2015. The former Watford striker has not yet revealed whether he is considering a return to the national setup, however with Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Leicester City’s Kelechi Ịheanachọ scoring goals in top European leagues, Nigeria could opt to go with a more youthful look.

However, Ighalo could well have a good influence on Nigeria’s young marksmen, with the forward having proved during his time with the Red Devils that he still has a lot to offer. Ighalo scored in the Europa League and FA Cup for United, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men being priced at 6.0 with Betway to win the latter for the 13th time this season.

Ighalo joined Saudi Professional League side Al Shabab on a two-and-a-half year deal, with the veteran striker having already opened his account for the club. He joined on a permanent basis from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua.