Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr is ready to work with “special player” Odion Ighalo in the remaining 2022 World Cup qualifying matches against Cape Verde and Liberia.
The 32-year-old quit playing for the Super Eagles after he guided them to a bronze medal at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nation in Egypt.
However, reports have emerged the Al-Shabab forward is among the players listed in coach Rohr’s squad for the remaining qualifiers and that he could return from retirement.
Speaking on his return to the Super Eagles squad, the German tactician told Elegbete TV as quoted by Completesports: “We miss his leadership, we miss his experience and we miss his goals.
“He was the top scorer at the 2019 Afcon qualifiers and also the Afcon itself. That’s why I included him on our provisional squad.
“[Victor] Osimhen is our No 1 striker, but there is none like Ighalo, he’s different, he’s a special player, he smells football. We have many young players who could learn a lot playing alongside such a great player.
“He also has the ambition to help his country. He could also help us much more.”
In a recent interview, the president of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick disclosed they are working to get the former Manchester United striker back in the national team.
“I had a long conversation with Odion Ighalo, personally I believe we need experience in our attack to combine with our energetic youthful Osimhen, Onuachu, Kelechi et al,” Pinnick said.
“Odion’s body language is very positive. We are also in touch with his agents and club.
“The vibe going into these last two games and indeed Afcon is very good.”
Nigeria are topping Group C of the qualifiers as they have bagged nine points from four matches, two more than second-placed Cape Verde, while the Central African Republic are third on four points and Liberia are at the bottom with three points.
The Super Eagles will travel to face Liberia at Stade Ibn Batouta on November 13 before they wind up their group fixtures with a home game against Cape Verde on November 16.