Odion Ighalo’s retirement from Super Eagles termed premature

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Tunde Disu, OFR, a former Technical Adviser of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), has reacted to the retirement of Super Eagle’s striker, Odion Ighalo, describing it as “premature”.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, Disu pointed out that Ighalo could still take back his decision to quit the national team, as the team had a lot to learn from him as a senior colleague.

DAILY POST had reported that the Super Eagles striker had announced his decision to quit the Super Eagles shortly after the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

However speaking on the retirement, Disu said: “The decision of Ighalo to quit the national team is premature, the team still needs him and he cannot afford to quit now.

“My reason is based on no other assumption other than the fact that the team at present did not have any standby player, with experience to take over.

“He is leaving without any replacement that is experienced enough, the players in the team now have yet to get the required playing time to step into his shoes.

“My position is not that the country did not have quality strikers, no, but other strikers should have been paired alongside him to learn,” he said.

“Ighalo’s decision to quit should give the technical crew a concern because I have been in that position before. There is a need to get this right.

“Ighalo is yet to play alongside other players, maybe play as a main striker with others as supporting strikers behind him.

“Sometimes as well, we need to tweak our formation to test new players, mainly during friendly games to give a deserving view of the whole team.

“Ighalo really tried for the team and if he is considering the negative vibes from football fans, maybe that is a bit childish, he should have developed thick skin to that.

“Criticisms are part of life, we cannot run away from it, even the best footballers of this world had faced the same situation one time or the other, he cannot be an exception,” he said.

The former technical adviser went on to advise the Super Eagles coach, saying: “Gernot Rohr, should allow players play their natural position instead of converting them to positions that cannot allow them to realise their full potential.”