Ighalo – Hot In China, Lukewarm For Super Eagles – Chinese Journalist Explains Why

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He presently boast of 20 goals in 25 games for Chanchung Yatai in the Chinese Super League but Odion Ighalo has only found the back of the net five times in his three years stint with the senior national team of Nigeria.

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The former Udinese forward made his senior national team bow for Nigeria in 2015 in a 1-1 draw against South Africa on the 29th of March but since then he has only scored in games against Cameroon (twice), Algeria, Luxembourg and Chad.

With 21 caps to his name, it’s a thing of worry when one consider the fact that he has only scored thrice for Nigeria in competitive games with his two other goals coming in friendly games and even his three competitive goals, two came via the spot.

Only once has he found the back of the net from open play in a competitive game for Nigeria and that came in the 4-0 drubbing of Cameroon in Uyo during the Russia 2018 World Cup Qualifiers.

In China, he scored 15 goals in his debut season last year and he presently has 20 this season but China based journalist Kong Li insist the 29 year old goal count still doesn’t make him one of the feared strikers in the team.

” Ighalo is loved and respected by fans of his club but in the league he is viewed like any other player despite his current status as the second top scorer in the top division. His goals have a touch of luck and lack of finesse “, he told Owngoalnigeria.com.

” This season he has scored seven times from the spot unlike last season, where only two of his 15 goals came from penalties. Beside Chinese teams don’t invest in defenders, so most times he is up against very poorly organised teams.

” His wealth of experience should not be discarded though but it appears the drop in his game at international level has a lot to do with the lack of competition he faces in China and the easy way which he scores unlike for Nigeria, where opponents of Nigeria’s national teams are drilled to defend when up against him‎”, he concluded.

Osas Mahawi

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