Pinnick Hints of Ighalo’s Return to Super Eagles


*Meets injured Ndidi, Etebo, Iheanacho, Iwobi in UK

Duro Ikhazuagbe

There is the possibility of Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia forward, Odion Ighalo to come out of retirement to lace boots for the Super Eagles once more.

Ighalo who retired from the Nigerian senior national football team after helping the Super Eagles to a third place finish at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt, has had useful discussions with Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Melvin Pinnick.

Now, chances are he’s likely to return to play in Nigeria’s last two 2022 AFCON qualifying matches before the final knockout phase despite having the likes of Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho, Paul Onuachu, Taiwo Awoniyi, Terem Moffi and Sadiq Umar as quality options before Head Coach Gernot Rohr.

In a long post on his Instagram page late Sunday night, Pinnick revealed he has had talks with the 32-year-old AFCON 2019 top scorer on five goals.

“I had a long conversation with Odion lghalo, personally i believe we need experience in our attack to combine with our energically youthful Osimhen, Onuachu, Kelechi et al.

“Odion 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,” stressed the NFF chief who is also both CAF and FIFA executive committee member.

Pinnick who also discussed the hangout he and his family had at Wilfred Ndidi’s home in Leicester with Kelechi Iheanacho later joining them, gave a vivid picture of how the injured Leicester City enforcer was recuperating to get back into action.

The NFF Boss also paid a visit to another Injured Super Eagles midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo and spoke about Ademola Lookman’s readiness to play for Nigeria.

“l spent quality time with Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho in Leicester over the weekend.

“I went with my wife and three of my kids who are on half term break. Our visit was a mere family visit and not official. Recall Wilfred is recuperating from an injury that has kept him out for about five weeks, being a very key player for the Super Eagles, we cannot afford to toy with our last two games. Ndidi has been integral, committed and passionate member of the Super Eagles.

“The good news is that his second scan came out very good so he start training with his club and possibly play in their next game. His wife, Dinma was a wonderful host, their little daughter, adorable. Kelechi joined us almost immediately and made us to laugh till we left.

“Thanks to Wilfred & Kelechi, my family truly appreciate you.

Also paid a visit to Oghenekaro Etebo, in Warri, we call him Afaras’. He is also recuperating very well but definitely cannot make the next two World Cup qualifiers, Nations Cup might also be a doubt, importantly he should heal 100% by His Grace and rejoin the team.

“His family was quite warm and pleasant. We had quality time together and understood every language uttered as 2 proud Warri ‘boys’. He is in a great spirit with the right mental state of mind.

“I spoke extensively with Alex lwobi, who cannot wait to feature in those all important games. Ademola Lookman is excited about fighting for a shirt in the Super Eagles. He loves Nigeria. By His Grace we shall conclude the switch very soon.”

“WE THANK GOD ALMIGHTY FOR EVERYTHING,” concludes Pinnick in that lengthy post on Instagram yesterday.