• News

Nigerian chief attempts to convince ex-Man Utd star to play AFCON

Odion Ighalo - Manchester United
Getty Images

Nigerian Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick strives to persuade a former Manchester United player to play AFCON.

Nigerian Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick has been craving to see former Manchester United star Odion Ighalo play for the national team at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Regardless of winning the top scorer prize at the 2019 AFCON, Ighalo announced his retirement from international duty. 

As a matter of fact, the former Flying Eagles captain has been spectacular in the new season for his club Al-Shabab in the Saudi Pro League. Ighalo has racked eight goals in nine appearances in Saudi Arabia.

The hope is still alive. 🇳🇬

Though the ex-Man United forward ended his international career early, Pinnick still believes that he might be able to convince the 32-year-old. 

All that the chief wants is Ighalo to take part in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and AFCON. “I had a long conversation with Odion Ighalo. Personally, I believe we need experience in our attack to combine with our energetically youthful Osimhen, Onuachu, Kelechi et al,” Pinnick said in a press release.  

“Odion’s body language is very positive. We are also in touch with his agents and club. The vibe going into these last two games and indeed AFCON is very good.”

Ighalo’s ideal replacement, Victor Osimhen has impressed those from his nation, with seven goals and six assists in ten competitive games. Nigeria will begin their AFCON campaign with a tough game against Egypt on January 11 next year.