Wednesday Feb 12, 2020. 12:00
The Nigerian national team will welcome Odion Ighalo back with open arms, according to former Super Eagles midfielder Mutiu Adepoju.
Ighalo, who recently completed a loan move from Chinese football to Premier League giants Manchester United, retired from international duty at the end of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr has attempted to convince the 30-year-old to reverse his decision and join the Super Eagles in the qualification campaigns for the next AFCON in 2021, as well as the 2022 World Cup.
Adejopu, speaking to Nigeria’s Daily Trust explained that the decision rests in Ighalo’s hands, but he would definitely be a welcome presence for the Super Eagles.
“He [Ighalo] retired himself, nobody forced him to do that and he has his reasons,” explained the former international.
“In my opinion, it’s left to him whether he wants to come back or not if he is approached. If he comes back, it’s all well and good.”
Adepoju added that the veteran striker’s possible return will not stall the development of Victor Osimhen, who appears most likely to become the Super Eagles’ long-term spearhead.
“You see, Osimhen is a very good player and nobody can stall any other person’s development. If Ighalo comes, that will be competition and that means the coach has two good players to choose from.
“Having good players in the team is a plus to the coach especially, if there are injuries.”
Ighalo will hope to make his debut for Manchester United when they face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in a Premier League clash next Monday.