World Cup qualifiers: Amid backlash, Ighalo makes Rohr’s final list
Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has included Odion Ighalo in the team final squad list for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Liberia and Cape Verde later this month.
Recall that Ighalo had announced his retirement in 2019, shortly after picking up the golden boot at the AFCON in Egypt.
But last week, Rohr had disclosed that he included the 32-year-old in the Eagles provisional squad for the next World Cup qualification fixtures.
The disclosure has generated an avalanche of criticism among fans and former Nigerian footballers.
Speaking on the development, former Super Eagles forward, Mutiu Adepoju said the Franco-German has no reason to recall Ighalo back to the team as other young strikers have stepped up since his retirement.
“I like Ighalo as a player and he is a very good striker. He retired from the Super Eagles about two years ago and I believe we presently have strikers that are good enough in the team,” he had said.
“If we have players! Who are doing very well and scoring goals in their clubs, do we still have to recall Ighalo? It’s just my opinion.”
Despite the criticism and backlash, Odion Ighalo has been named in the final Eagles squad list which was released in a statement on Monday.
Wilfred Ndidi and Alex Iwobi will also be returning after being sidelined from the last two matches of the qualifiers with injuries.
Samuel Chhukwueze was handed his first Eagles call-up since May when he damaged his knee in Villareal’s Europa League game to Arsenal at the Emirates.
Super Eagles will face Liberia on November 13 before hosting Cape Verde three days later as they push to book a place in the final round of qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands).
Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Paderborn 07, Germany); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany).
Midfielders: Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England).
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Shabab Riyadh, Saudi Arabia).
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