Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has said the transfers of captain Mikel Obi and striker Odion Ighalo to the Chinese Super League is good for the national team as the duo now play regularly.
After seeing little or no action with their former English Premier League sides, Mikel and Ighalo made their transfers to China in January.
But Rohr, speaking in Sagamu where he watched a Nigeria Professional Football League match between Remo Stars and Niger Tornadoes on Wednesday, dismissed fears that the transfer to the inferior quality league could affect the form and performance of the Super Eagles stars.
“The first thing to note is that these guys were not playing at all in their former clubs and now that they have got new clubs it means they will be playing regularly,” Rohr said.
The senior national team are looking at qualifying for two big competitions – the AFCON 2019 and the World Cup 2018 – with qualifying ties beginning and resuming in June and August respectively. And the coach expects a raise in game from Mikel and Ighalo.
“This is good for the Super Eagles and for our aspirations to be at the World Cup. Playing in China is certainly better than sitting on the bench in their former clubs. As professionals I expect them to raise their game as they have been doing even when not playing regularly.
“Now he (Mikel) gets to play regularly and he’s also the captain of his team. I’m also happy for Ighalo because he will get to play and score plenty of goals,” he added.
Captain Mikel made his move to Tianjin Teda from Chelsea FC this January, while Ighalo left Watford for Changchun Yatai.
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