It gets me thinking whenever the debates come up among football loving Nigerians as to whether or not Ighalo should come out of retirement. I honestly would have thought it was a forgeone conclusion.
Mancheser United – for all the difficulty they are curently through , having found it hard to replicate anything close to Sir Alex Fergurson’s successes – is still one of the most succsessful football franchises in the modern game; one steeped in very rich history.
For a Nigerian footballer to be playing – and scoring – for them is the stuff of sweet dreams for Super Eagles fans (and the player himself).
Ighalo is expected to go back to China after what is tunring out to be a successful brief spell at Old Trafford.
Having now cemented his reputation as a top quality centre forward, should it even be up for debate if the 31 year old decides honour the call of his fatherland for 1 or 2 more years?
Surprisingly, there are arguments against Ighalo making a U-turn on his international retirement as expressed by a number of Super Eagles fans.
1.The Rise of Osihmen: The Lille man has taken to the centre forward role in the Super Eagles like duck to water. Many fear that his development in the national team could be stunted if confined to the bench by Ighalo’s return.
2.Flair: For all his achievements, many still don’t see Ighalo as a flair player. The way he interprets the centre forward role does not appeal to many Super Eagles fans despite the end results (in the way of goals).
3.Options aplenty: Many fans are itching to see new generation of strikers strut their stuff for Nigeria. Dessers, Maja, Akpom and soon-to-be-unveiled players are now available for selection. Many argue for us to move beyond Ighalo to create room for these prospects.
4.Rohr’s rigidity: Rohr’s reputation as a coach who makes (very) late substitutions precedes him. Many fans worry that if Ighalo should come back, coach Rohr will stick to him like flies to sh*t even if he doesn’t play well. This – if it happens – will deny them the opportunity of seeing what other strikers can offer.
5. Russia 2018: Some haven’t overcome the monumental miss by Ighalo against Argentina at the 2018 World Cup.
Ighalo is a huge talent, no doubt; a pride to his family, community and nation at large. His profile has increased immensely by his performances for Manchester United.
I don’t think he would want to do anything to diminish his current high profile, even if that means staying away from the Super Eagles for good!