Super Eagles forward Odion Ighalo has been delivering fine showings for his club and has been advised to repeat the same displays for his country
Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo has urged Genk forward Paul Onuachu to replicate his club performances for the Nigeria national team.
The lanky centre-forward has been delivering scintillating displays for the Luminus Arena outfit in the current campaign.
Onuachu has bagged nine goals in 11 league games to help the Blue and White to the fourth spot on the Belgian First Division A table.
The forward has, however, been struggling to establish himself in the Nigerian national team since he made his debut against Egypt in March 2019.
The 26-year-old will be expected to lead the Super Eagles attack against Sierra Leone in Tuesday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier following the injury suffered by Napoli attacker Victor Osimhen in Benin City on Friday.
Ahead of the encounter, Ighalo has urged Onuachu to work harder for the Super Eagles, having only managed one goal in six appearances for Gernot Rohr’s men.
“If you can’t score a goal as a striker then work to provide assists.
If you can’t give assists then work hard for the team,” Ighalo told Brila FM.
“Onuachu is a good player; he’s strong in the air and very physical as well.
He should be confident and bring that focus he has at club level.
“The pressure that comes with the national team is intense. Playing as the Number 9 in the Super Eagles is a huge weight. I understand that he (Onuachu) just needs to work hard for the team.”
Nigeria currently lead Group L with seven points from three games and are hoping to secure a win in Freetown against the Leone Stars to guarantee their place in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
Ighalo bagged 16 goals in 35 appearances for the Super Eagles before his retirement from international duty in 2019.
The Red Devils forward was the top scorer in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and also emerged as the highest scorer in the tournament to help Nigeria clinch their eighth bronze medal in the competition