The former Technical Adviser of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Tunde Disu OFR, has said that the decision of Super Eagles Striker, Odion Ighalo to retire was premature.
Disu gave his opinion in an interview with journalists on Tuesday while commenting on the decision of the Eagles first-choice striker.
Ighalo, who emerged as the highest goal scorer in the just-concluded Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt announced his decision to quit the Super Eagles after the competition.
Disu, said that Ighalo could still rescind his decision to quit the national team, adding that the team had a lot to learn from him as a senior colleague.
“The decision of Ighalo to quit the national team is premature, the team still needs him and he cannot afford to quit now.
“My reason is based on no other assumption other than the fact that the team at present did not have any standby player, with experience to take over.
“He is leaving without any replacement that is experienced enough, the players in the team now have yet to get the required playing time to step into his shoes.
“My position is not that the country did not have quality strikers, no, but other strikers should have been paired alongside him to learn,” he said.
Disu said that the decision of the striker to quit should be a concern because he was the only tested striker among his peers, noting that he should have been played alongside other strikers.
“Ighalo's decision to quit should give the technical crew a concern because I have been in that position before. There is a need to get this right.
“Ighalo has yet to play alongside other players, maybe play as a main striker with others as supporting strikers behind him.
“Sometimes as well, we need to tweak our formation to test new players, mainly during friendly games to give a deserving view of the whole team.
“Ighalo really tried for the team and if he is considering the negative vibes from football fans, maybe that is a bit childish, he should have developed thick skin to that.
“Criticisms are part of life, we cannot run away from it, even the best footballers of this world had faced the same situation one time or the other, he cannot be an exception,” he said.
Disu also advised the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, to allow the players to play their natural position instead of converting them to positions that cannot allow them to realise their full potential.
“I think Rohr should allow the players into their natural position instead of converting them out of position; this is not helpful.
“I noticed that most of the players in the national team are being played out of position, Mikel Obi from defensive midfielder to attacking.