Ighalo considering possible return to Super Eagles

Published on: 05 March 2021

Former Manchester United forward Odion Ighalo has revealed he would soon make a decision regarding a possible return to the Nigeria national team.

The 31-year-old announced his retirement from international duty in 2019 after helping the Super Eagles finish third at the Africa Cup of Nation, where he emerged as the top scorer.

The forward gave a good account of himself during his spell with Premier League giants Manchester United.

Ighalo left the Red Devils in January after the expiration of his contract to sign for Saudi Professional League side Al Shabab and has hit the ground running for the club.

The centre-forward has bagged three goals and provided one assist in only five league appearances, amid other dazzling displays.

On the back of his impressive performances, Nigeria national team coach Gernot Rohr wants the attacker to come out of his retirement.

Ighalo has now revealed he would take a decision regarding the request as he has respect for his country and the German tactician.

"I have been approached by the coach, but I haven't decided yet whether this is a path I want to follow again,” Ighalo told BBC Sport Africa.

"We've been talking about it for a while and hopefully soon I will make that decision.

"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.”

Ighalo scored 16 goals in 35 appearances for the three-time African champions before his abrupt retirement from the national team.

The forward was highly criticized for his failure to score at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he Super Eagles were eliminated at the group stage.

Ighalo subsequently wanted to quit the national team before he was prevailed upon to remain with the side and went on to score seven goals at the 2019 Afcon in Egypt.

In Ighalo’s absence, Napoli forward Victor Osimhen has been leading the Super Eagles attack and has four goals in the Afcon qualifiers.

The 22-year-old is, however, still recovering from a head injury and it is uncertain if he will be available for Nigeria’s Afcon qualifying games against the Republic of Benin and Lesotho in March.