‘No Reason Not To Take Him’: Rohr Open To Ighalo’s Eagles Return

Emmanuel Egobiambu  
Updated February 10, 2021
Rohr believes Ighalo’s experience will be needed in the team. JAVIER SORIANO / AFP


Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has not ruled out the possibility of forward Odion Ighalo making a return to the senior national team. 

Ighalo retired from international football in July 2019 after helping the West African nation to a third-place finish at that year’s edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) – a competition in which he emerged as the highest goalscorer – but Rohr believes the former Manchester United star can return to the team if he wants to.

“There’s no reason not to take him if he’s doing well. The question is if he wants to come back,”  the German said in his most recent interview on the Super Eagles YouTube channel. “We hope so because he’s an experienced player. He can be very useful to his partners. We’re waiting but firstly he has to play.”

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Ighalo recently moved to Saudi Arabia side, Al Shabab, signing a two-year deal with the Riyadh-based team after his loan spell at Manchester United (from Shanghai Shenhua) ended.

And Rohr, 67, believes the move to Saudi Arabia is not a bad one.

“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,” the gaffer who began coaching the three-time African champion in 2016, added. “We also had Ahmed Musa when he was playing in Saudi Arabia.”

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Before his retirement, Ighalo played 35 matches for the Super Eagles during which he scored 16 goals. He made his debut for the Nigerian side in 2015.

Nigeria will take on the Benin Republic and Lesotho in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification double header in March (next month).