Ighalo can deliver like Yekini @ighalojude
Former Super Eagles midfield star, Henry Nwosu, has said that Watford striker, Odion Ighalo, can replace late Rashidi Yekini as Nigeria’s all-time goalscorer.
Nigeria has had many strikers after the exit of Yekini from the Eagles in 1998 but none has been able to match the former Shooting Stars forward’s record of 37 goals in 58 appearances for Nigeria. Yakubu Aiyegbeni is the closest to the late striker with 21 goals in 58 appearances for the Eagles.
With Ighalo’s current form in England – scoring 30 goals in 2015 – Nwosu believes the 26-year-old can become the country’s attack arrow head, adding that Ighalo only needs good service from the midfield to replicate his club form for the country.
“Ighalo is a talented striker and is very good in front of goal,” the former Gateway United coach told our correspondent.
“Watching him play reminds one of the late Rashidi Yekini. He is a powerful forward and his presence is always felt in the opponent’s goal area. He has the ability to take on defenders and can shake them off with little or no effort.
“His power playing style also makes it easy for him to play shots from even the tightest of angles. He can perform well for the Eagles just as he is doing for his club.
“What is lacking in the Eagles is a player who can create chances and that is affecting Ighalo. The Eagles lack a creative player and it makes the job of strikers more difficult.”
Nwosu advised the Eagles coaches to solve the challenge as soon as possible.
He said, “If a team has no creative player, they will find it difficult to score goals and that is what the Eagles are facing. If we are to compete with the best in the world, the coaches need to get a creative player in that team and the team will begin to score goals.
“Nigeria has a lot of players around but the best has to play that role. Mikel (Obi) was tipped to do it after the exit of (Austin) Okocha but his game at present does not fit that creative role.”
Meanwhile, the scoring strength of the Watford striker has made him a £12m target for Spanish giants Atletico Madrid. His rare contributions to Watford’s impressive start to the campaign have indeed caught the eye of Atletico scouts according to a Daily Mirror report.
Reports from Spain suggest that Atletico have watched him at least five times this season and are ready to make a summer move. Atletico are looking for a new striker this summer as Jackson Martinez has been a huge flop since his £25m move from Porto in the summer. Martinez has even been linked with a loan move to Tottenham and Chelsea with Atletico keen to offload the 29-year-old.
The Spanish club have a good relationship with Udinese, owned by the Pozzo family, who have bankrolled Watford’s remarkable rise. Atletico are confident that they could land Ighalo after making enquiries to his representatives and they are hopeful of doing a £12m deal in the summer.