A former international winger, Tijani Babangida has said it is too early for experienced striker, Odion Ighalo to retire from the Super Eagles.
Moments after he emerged the highest goal scorer at the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, news emerged that the Shanghai Shenhua of China player had called time on his international career.
The captain of the team, John Mikel Obi had also announced his retirement from the Super Eagles after leading the team to a third place finish in the 2019 AFCON.
Speaking to Daily Trust yesterday, the former Super Eagles and Ajax Amsterdam player said he doubts very much the news about Ighalo’s retirement but if it happens to be true, he should be stopped from leaving the team at this time.
He said the national team still needs the rich experience of the former Watford player as he maintained that there is no replacement yet for Ighalo in the present squad.
“I have heard about Ighalo’s retirement but I doubt if it is true. I know Mikel has officially announced his retirement but for Ighalo, I doubt very much.
“If it is true that he wants to retire, he should be persuaded to stay back. It is not yet time for him to leave the team.
“The role he is playing in the Super Eagles attack is for experienced players. At the moment, there is no player in the team with his wealth of experience,” he said.
Babangida also said if he is convinced to stay, Ighalo will help Ahmed Musa to guide the younger players in the team.
According to him, Musa who has stepped into Mikel’s shoes is doing his best but he needs someone like Ighalo to really inspire the younger players in the team.