Nigeria's Odion Ighalo (R)
Thursday Jun 20, 2019. 17:00
Nigeria international Odion Ighalo is happy with his team-mate John Obi Mikel's return to the Super Eagles squad ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
The last time Middlesbrough midfielder Mikel played for Nigeria was against Argentina at the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.
Ighalo, who is based in China, has praised Nigeria captain Mikel.
''He is our captain, he is a good leader, it's great to have him back, the motivation he brings to the team,'' Ighalo said.
''He didn't play the qualifiers, we did well without him, him joining us is a big plus because teams in Africa will get scared a bit with Mikel in the Super Eagles squad.
''He has done great for club and country, he is a legend. He can play, he is still fresh, he is still doing what he knows how to do best.
''He's a good passer of the ball which every striker will be happy to have in his side. For me, I am really happy he is back and hopefully we can achieve what we want to achieve together by God's grace.''
Nigeria will face the Swallows – who are debutants at the AFCON – in a Group B clash in Alexandria on Saturday June 22.
The Super Eagles will also face Guinea (June 26) and Madagascar (June 30) in their other Group B matches at the tournament.