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Gernot Rohr Opens Super Eagles Door To Ighalo After United Move
Odion Ighalo and Gernot Rohr
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Gernot Rohr Opens Super Eagles Door To Ighalo After United Move

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

Nigeria's head coach, Gernot Rohr, has said that the door back into his team is still open if new Manchester United signing, Odion Ighalo, wants to return.

The Franco-German tactician revealed that he has already contacted the former Nigerian international following his surprising move to the 13-time Premier League Champions.

Ighalo quit international football following the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt, where he was the top scorer with five goals and helped Nigeria finish as the third-best team.

Rohr has now admitted to discussing a return to the Super Eagles with the 30-year-old, as his experience would help the younger players coming through in the squad.

“We are very happy about the new team of Ighalo, Manchester United is a fantastic challenge for him and I spoke already with him and you know he is a very good player on and off the pitch," Rohr said.

“If a player is playing in Manchester United each coach of national teams would like to have him. Our young players could learn a lot on the side of this great goal scorer.

“It is a dream for him and he can realise his dream with this team, but he has to fight to play with this team (Manchester United).”

Since Ighalo's retirement, Victor Osimhen has stepped up to the task in the striking position but Rohr is convinced a return to the international scene will benefit even the younger frontmen.

Gernot Rohr Opens Super Eagles Door To Ighalo After United Move

“If he (Ighalo) wants to come back to the team (Super Eagles), the door is open because his experience could really help the likes of Samuel Chukwueze, Victor Osimhen, Samuel Kalu and other young strikers to progress,” added the 66-year-old gaffer.

“Now the travelling (from China) will be less for him but he has to first find his rhythm and positioning to play for Manchester United and the changing of mind (to play for the Super Eagles) must come from him.

“All the time, we are in touch. He is such an important player as the best goal scorer at AFCON 2019.

“He is difficult to replace even if Osimhen is doing so well.

“All is possible even for Ighalo and Osimhen to play together, but we would wait and we would see.

Ighalo had a decent scoring record with the Super Eagles, especially during his last few years with the team. The Ajegunle-born forward who made his debut for Nigeria in March 2015 scored 16 goals in 35 appearances.