The Franco-German tactician has quite a few attacking options at his disposal including Lille’s Victor Osimhen, Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze, and Genk’s Cyriel Dessers but the former midfielder believes the Super Eagles strike-force can still benefit from the addition of another
Ex-Flying Eagles star Etim Esin has urged coach Gernot Rohr to convince Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo to rescind his decision on international retirement and recall him to the Super Eagles.
Ighalo called time on his international career after helping the three-time African champions to a bronze-medal finish at the African Cup of Nations in Egypt last year.
It was a decision that caught many by surprise, considering that the former Watford forward netted five goals to claim the tournament’s highest goalscorer award.
While Ighalo was still with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua at the time, things have changed with the striker now at childhood club and 20-time English champions Man United.
The 31-year-old’s exploits with the Red Devils – he has five goals in 11 appearances – shows he is still on top of his game, and as good a finisher as any around.
This, Esin believes, is the more reason why Rohr should recall the former Granada ace as his experience can help the team’s younger forwards improve their game.
“I think this is a job for the coach (Gernot Rohr), he’s the one in charge, and he should try and convince Ighalo to rescind his decision on retirement from the national team,” Esin told The PUNCH.
“Ighalo’s return to the Eagles will help to boost the confidence level of younger strikers in the team, and this will help us going forward.
“Samuel Chukwueze, Victor Osimhen, and others would benefit from his experience if the coach brings him back.
“We should learn to tap from the resources we have in our hands. Ighalo is one of the best strikers we have today, Rohr should convince him to return.”
When Ighalo joined Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in January, he was seen as a signing that helped to save the face of the club, having lost out to Borussia Dortmund on Norwegian youngster Erling Haaland.
However, when he extended his contract in May, it was based on merit, having convinced his critics with his excellent displays.
Esin can’t fathom how such a player would be excluded from the national set-up.
“How can Nigeria have a player in Manchester United, and he is not in the national team? Playing in an elite team like Manchester United alone is an experience on its own,” Esin added.
“Do we want to waste all that? It is wrong. He needs to share his experience with young strikers in the team.
“That is how a team grows. This is where the coach needs to come all out and encourage him to help the team with his experience.”
Ighalo, whose contract with United runs till January 31st, could not help the Reds past Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley on Sunday.