World Cup Qualifier: Uneasy Calm As Ighalo Yet To Hit Eagles Camp In Tangier

World Cup Qualifier: Uneasy Calm As Ighalo Yet To Hit Eagles Camp In Tangier

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By Amaechi Agbo

Barely 48 hours to the all-important 2022 World Cup qualifier against Lone Star of Liberia, there is uneasy calm in Super Eagles camp in Tangier, Morocco as returnee striker, Odion Ighalo is yet to report to the camp, can report.

The 32-year Old who was recalled to the team after over two years of retirement and he remains the only oversee player yet to report to the camp since on Monday.

The former Manchester United striker is well known for his early arrival to camp prior to his announced retirement in July 2019.

This unpleasant body language from Ighalo suggests he is still undecided on coming out from retirement to play for the Super Eagles as it appears he is more of being pressured to return than actually craving to do so.

At the height of whether he is coming back or not, Ighalo was emphatic he hasn’t made up his mind and when he was eventually named in the 24-man squad, he chose to be silent about the development

“They have been in contact with me about the possibility of coming back, Amaju and coach,” Ighalo told ESPN. “I don’t know. I have not said yes or no. I haven’t made any decision concerning the national team.”

While the writing on the wall is suggesting hesitation on the part of Ighalo, a source in the Eagles’ camp claims the Saudi-based striker should be in on Thursday.

“We are still expecting him, he (Ighalo) should be around by Thursday” unnamed official told Premium Times.

Ighalo retired from the Nigerian senior national football team after helping the Super Eagles to a third-place finish at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt where he emerged as the top scorer.

Before his earlier retirement, he scored 16 goals in 35 games for the Super Eagles.

Ighalo Celebrates with teammates after scoring in the 2019 AFCON in Egypt

Ighalo scored his ninth goal in 10 league games on Thursday night as his club romped to a 3-0 win over Al Tai.

His goalscoring feat coincided with the Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr’s confirmation of the inclusion of the 32-year old in his provisional list for the next World Cup qualifying games.

The former Watford goal king has been enjoying a good run of form in Saudi Arabia where he plays for Al Shabab, who are presently second on the log in the Pro League, two points behind table-toppers Al-Ittihad

Meanwhile, 22 players in camp have continued to intensify training in the cam with the latest arrival of Napoli of Italy striker, Victor Osimhen who joined the camp on Wednesday.

The 22 players in camp include; Victor Osimhen, Maduka Okoye, Daniel Akpeyi, Paul Onuachu, William Troost-Ekong, Ola Aina, Kevin Akpoguma, Wilfred Ndidi, Jamilu Collins, and Alex Iwobi.

Others are: Chidera Ejuke, Frank Onyeka, Kelechi Iheanacho, Ahmed Musa, Chidozie Awaziem, Samuel Chukwueze, Kenneth Omeruo, Moses Simon, Zaidu Sanusi, Shehu Abdullahi, Leon Balogun and Jo Aribo.

Still being expected to join the team is Enyimba International FC goalkeeper, John Noble who was a late call-up to the squad after Francis Uzoho pulled out due to injury.

The Liberia and Nigeria matchday 5 clash will kick-off by 5pm at the Grand Stade de Tanger Stadium located in the city of Tangier, Northern Morocco.

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