Manchester United loanee Odion Ighalo has revealed that he is in regular contact with the coach of the national team of Nigeria Gernot Rohr and there is still a possibility of rejoining the national team.
Recall that Ighalo stunned fans of the Super Eagles of Nigeria when he announced his retirement from the national team after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations where the team won Bronze for the 8th time.
The retirement of the 30-year-old striker coincided with the retirement of 33-year-old captain of the team and former Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi who has made over 91 appearances for the Super Eagles before his retirement.
In the case of Ighalo who joined the national team in 2015, he has only managed 35 appearances for the team scoring 16 goals. Hence, it was a huge surprise when the United player on loan from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua, retired when he was enjoying the best of national team football.
Recall that Odion Ighalo was the highest goals scorer during the 2019 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers and also the highest goals scorer in the tournament itself.
When he left the Super Eagles, the speculation was that he could no longer stomach the criticism he was getting from some fans of the Super Eagles whenever the team had a bad day. But in an interview with a Nigerian sports radio station, Brilia FM, Ighalo said he resigned from the team because of the distance between China, where he used to base, and Nigeria.
Odion Ighalo revealed that now that he has renewed his loan deal with United which will see him stay in England until January 31, 2021, he is rethinking his decision. He, however, added that he would want to concentrate on club football for now.
“I am still in contact with Gernot Rohr and Amaju Pinnick, and they congratulated me on my loan deal,” Ighalo told Brila FM.
“I am still thinking about returning to the national team, but right now I want to concentrate on my club career.
“I left the national team because of the distance between Nigeria and China, but now that I am in Manchester and just like life and in my career, you never can tell.”
If Ighalo should rejoin the Super Eagles, he would have to compete for the number 9 position of the team with Lille talisman Victor Osimhen who has made that position his own since Ighalo left. In the last two games for the national team, the 21-year-old striker has scored 3 goals which are proof that Nigeria has little to worry in terms of a central striker.
But a little more experience in Gernot Rohr‘s young team which has been sentenced to win the next Africa Nations Cup and qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, won’t be a bad idea.