NIGERIAN football fans are opposed to Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo ending his international retirement and returning to the Super Eagles after a recent online poll revealed that most fans believed he is surplus to requirements.
Ighalo, 30, retired from international football last year after the African Cup of Nations in Egypt where he ended the tournament as top scorer. He was focusing on his club career with Shanghai Shenhua in January when Manchester United came calling and took him on loan until the end of the season.
Since moving to Old Trafford, Ighalo has been an instant hit with the fans, scoring four goals in just five starts, prompting suggestions that his contract may be extended at the end of the season. This in turn has led to calls for him to be recalled to the Super Eagles as the team prepares for the 2021 African Cup of Nations and the 2022 World Cup.
However, in an online poll conducted by Completesports.com, Nigerian football fans said that Ighalo’s international retirement decision after an excellent service should be respected by all. It was a close call after the respondents votes were collated from three online channels Facebook, Twitter and the Completesports website.
Fans who voted on Facebook and on Completesports.com also provided interesting comments to substantiate their respective decisions. In the end, the fans who voted against Ighalo’s return from international retirement were the. majority across the three channels.
Completesports.com results show that 47% of them want the Manchester United striker to return to the Super Eagles, while 53% are against his return. On the Complete Sports Facebook page, 19% of the respondents voted for Ighalo’s return to the Nigeria team, 75% rejected the call for his return, while 6% decided to sit on the fence.
On Twitter, 43% of the fans said yes that Ighalo was still needed in the national team, 35% said no, while 22% said they did not really care about what he decides to do. Nigerian football fans appear unfazed by the fact that Ighalo was nominated for the Manchester United Player of the Month award for March, alongside Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Harry Maguire.
Although Fernandes won it, Ighalo’s nomination spoke volume of his resourcefulness for United so far. Ighalo who signed for Manchester United following injury to Marcus Rashford, has made eight appearances, scored four goals and made one assist in all competitions.