Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr says recalled striker Odion Ighalo will help his “very young team” to achieve their aspirations for 2022, www.aclsports.com reports.
Many Nigerians had expressed their displeasure at Rohr’s invitation of Ighalo for the first time in over two years ahead of upcoming games against Liberia and Cape Verde.
Ighalo, 32, was topscorer at the last Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Egypt in 2019 and the Nigeria head coach believes his experience will be key for his side.
“Ighalo wanted to stop after AFCON, he changed clubs and also wanted to spend time with his family but now the motivation is there for him to come back to help us with his experience,” explained Mr Rohr at the pre-match press conference on Thursday.
He added: “We have a very young team, we have (captain Ahmed) Musa here but we need another (experienced) one.
“He’s a goalscorer and his qualities, experience and professionalism can help the young players especially in the attack and they are all very happy about his comeback.”
The Al-Shabab of Saudi Arabia forward arrived the team’s hotel base in Tanger, Morocco on Thursday morning ahead of Saturday’s game against the Lone Star of Liberia, before Enyimba goalkeeper John Noble completed the number of players invited for the game.
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Nigeria are currently top of Group C with nine points from four matches and require four points from their final two games to seal their spot in the final round of qualifying for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Nigeria will face Liberia at the Stade Ibn Batouta, Tanger, Morocco on Saturday starting from 5pm, Nigerian time.