By Johnny Edward:
Former Super Eagles and Barcelona defender Gbenga Okunowo has blamed the lack of quality midfielders who possess good passing skills for Odion Ighalo’s lack of goals for the national team, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Ighalo has failed to score in his last three games for the Super Eagles and Okunowo has leapt to defence of the 28-year-old Chanchung Yatai striker.
Okunowo told CSN in an interview that the biggest problem the three time African Champions will have at the Russia 2018 World Cup is unlocking defences in the absence of their influential captain Obi Mikel.
“It’s no news that we lacked the creative spark in the two games we played against Serbia and Poland,” Okunowo said.
“We need players who can pass the ball well for our strikers to score. At the moment the only player who does that perfectly is Mikel.
“We also saw that it was evident that there’s need to find a player who can string those short passes to unlock defence when Mikel isn’t playing.
“At the moment, we don’t have midfield players who can create scoring chances for the strikers to score and that’s why Ighalo and others will struggle to get goals because they don’t get the service they need to face the goal.
“What we have in midfielders who are combative but not creative.”
Okunowo, who is now a scout, however backed Ighalo to come good with adequate service in subsquent games.
The Changchun Yatai striker has scored four times in 15 international apprearances for the Super Eagles.