Former International, Dahiru Sadi, has expressed excitement over the form of retired Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo, who recently signed a loan deal extension with England’s Manchester United for another six months.
According to Sadi, Ighalo needs to come out of retirement to motivate the youngsters in the Eagles with his experience.
Ighalo announced his exit from the senior national team immediately after the bronze-winning feat at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt. Nigeria had defeated the Eagles of Tunisia in the third place match. Victor Osimhen, who plays for French club, Lille, quickly stepped into his shoes and filled the void left by Ighalo.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Sadi stated that despite having topnotch Osimhen, who is being sought after by top clubs in Europe in the team, Ighalo’s inspiration was needed to help the young Eagles team to success in the next AFCON.
“We still need Ighalo in the Eagles because you can’t do away with his experience. I read it sometime ago that the Eagles’ chief coach was contemplating bringing him back to the national team. Because I think the guy is still performing at the highest level.
“I’ll buy the idea of inviting him to the team because when you look at the Eagles now, they are made up of youngsters on the average of 22, 23, 24 years of age. These players are still young and they need someone who they can look up to for inspiration. For me, it is good for him to come back and play for the country,” he said, adding that he believes that the local league could produce players fit for the Eagles.
“The idea of home-based or Europe-based players is another political statement. Either is okay because before you know it a locally based player becomes foreign-based. But it’s a good idea if part of Rohr’s contract mandates him to watch the domestic league for players good enough for the national team.
“But I think Rohr’s contract renewal is the best thing for now. Because there is stability already in the team and you need that in a team if you want to perform at the highest level,” he said, adding that the inclusion of Joseph Yobo in the Eagles’ coaching crew was a welcome development.
“I welcome the idea of Yobo being made as one of the assistant coaches of the Eagles. I think Yobo is capable of doing it; it’s just a matter of paper work. If one can play at the highest level, what one needs is just to add a little experience to the coaching job.
“Rohr will be there to assist and guide him on the job in terms of experience he needs. To me, Yobo can do the job if he really wants to. The good thing is that he is the one that wanted the job, not that people are pushing him to do it,” Sadi stated.