Gernot Rohr reveals why ex-Man Utd striker Odion Ighalo did not play against Liberia

The ex-Manchester United striker made his return to the squad for the first time in almost years, but he did not feature against the Lone Stars

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has said Odion Ighalo did not take part in the game against Liberia because he arrived late to camp.

Ighalo is back in Nigeria’s squad almost three years after he decided to end his international career. The Al-Shabab striker is part of the squad for Nigeria’s final group games against Liberia and Cape Verde in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

The three-time African champions took on the Lone Stars on Saturday at the Stade Ibn Batouta, Tangiers, winning 2-0, courtesy of penalties from Victor Osimhen and Ahmed Musa.

However, Ighalo did not take part in the action and was not even in the matchday squad. Rohr has now revealed he could not play the former Watford striker because he only arrived at camp on Thursday.

“He only arrived on Thursday, that is why he could not participate in this match,” Rohr said in his post-match conference via the Super Eagles social media page. 

Rohr, however, hopes that the 32-year-old can play a part in the game against Cape Verde on Tuesday, where Nigeria need a point to qualify for the playoff.

“But I hope the next match, he will be able to help us much more, he added.

Meanwhile, the German tactician once again revealed that Ighalo was only asked to come back because of the experience he could offer to the young strikers in the Super Eagles squad.

“The reason we asked Ighalo to come back is that we have such a young team, very young, 22, 23, 21,” Rohr said.

“Our strikers are all very young. Ejuke is coming now, Chukwueze is coming back from injury.”

“Everybody is young. We need somebody to help them with their experience in the striker position, and he’s a good goalscorer, we know it”

“We are happy to have him back,” Rohr concluded.

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