Shanghai Greenland Shenhua of China striker, Odion Jude Ighalo has dispelled speculation that he decided to arrive late at the Super Eagles’ camp in Asaba because he is not fully fit e to commence rigorous training with the Nigerian national team.
Ighalo only recently returned to action with his club, after missing almost three weeks out with injury, but the former Changchun Yatai of China star insists he is fully fit to jostle for a shirt in Nigeria’s team to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Ighalo, who has also previously played for Julius Berger FC of Lagos, Prime FC of Osogbo, Lyn Oslo of Norway, Udinese of Italy, Granada of Spain and Watford of England, said he fit like a fiddle.
He hinted that he already back to peak shape and eager to continue at Egypt 2019 when he ended as top scorer overall in the qualification series, during which he scored a total of six goals.
With the Eagles’ set to battle Zimbabwe in a build-up match this Saturday, Ighalo is not expected to play, having arrived at the Nigeria camp late, but he insists he is not dodging training in order top get more time on his recovery from the knock he copped early May.
The 29-year-old attacker was forced out off Shenhua’s 1-1 draw Tianjin Teda in a Chinese Super League tie, then went on to miss four games, including their FA Cup victory over Chongqing Dangdai Lifan.
However, prior to the injury, Ighalo had scored seven goals in nine CSL fixtures, and is now eager to replicate the form when the Eagles start their Egypt 2019 campaign against Burundi on June 22.
The three-time African champions will then take on Guinea four days later before wrapping up their Group B games against Madagascar on June 30, ahead of which they will also play Senegal in a last build-up match on June 16 in Ismailia, Egypt.
Ighalo took a look at the Eagles’ busy schedule ahead and declared that he is eager to be part of the fray, starting with Saturday’s friendly in Asaba against Zimbabwe, then head to AFCON 2019, where he says he the best of him will be seen, because he is fully charge to explode.
“The Nations Cup is a big tournament and I’m ready and fully fit to take part in it,” Ighalo told Nigerian newspaper, The Punch.