While speaking in an exclusive interview with TheCable newspaper on Tuesday, Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo says he chose to move to the Chinese League from the English Premier League in order to get enough game time.
The Ajegunle, Lagos-born footballer who is now playing for Changchun Yatai in the Chinese leaugue, said he was hardly playing matches while at Watford in the English Premier league, hence his decision to make the move.
He said there are many players who don’t get to feature regularly for their clubs, yet they remain in the so-called “big leagues”.
Speaking further in reaction to insinuations that he shouldn’t have been invited for the Super Eagles World Cup qualifiers because he plays in the Chinese League, he said;
“Well, every human being on earth is entitled to his or her opinion. If they only can watch my games and see how sharp or slow I am or I am doing in the Chinese League, they will know better.
“If you look at it critically well, some people are not even playing games in their clubs and I’ll rather be playing in the Chinese League than sitting down on the bench in a big league.
“Because if you don’t play games, you are going to be rusty. We’ve played 22 games in the Chinese League thus season and I played 20 of them. The two games I missed was due to injury.
“I went to China because I was not playing in Watford due to the Italian manager at the club last season whom they gave sacked now.
“Secondly, I am playing every game in my present club which I am doing well. I don’t think there will be problem with sharpness and all that,” he told TheCable.
Ighalo said he’s delighted to be back in the Super Eagles setup, adding that he will always “cherish” the call to wear the Nigerian jersey.
He said: “I am happy to be back and always want to be back with the team because it is a privilege to play for your country.
“Anytime I am called upon to pray for my country, it’s a joy for me. It’s something that I always cherish and why I am always here to represent the country.”