John Ogu trained with the Super Eagles on Friday as head coach Gernot Rohr and the national team showed support for the midfielder’s future in the game.
The 33-year-old has been a free agent since leaving Saudi Arabia side Al-Adalh FC early last year and was last in the national team fold at the 2019 Nations Cup in Egypt.
Ogu who has maintained a private training regime in a bid to stay in shape while exploring options of securing a new club was in the stands at the Teslim Balogun Stadium and was sorely missed as Nigeria fell to a shock defeat to the Central African Republic in a 2022 World Cup qualifying game in Lagos on Thursday.
Following the match, Ogu was on hand to console his erstwhile teammates following which Rohr invited him to train with the team on Friday.
The midfielder was all smiles as he reacquainted himself with the team’s training sessions, going through his paces, participating in five asides and catching up with former colleagues.
Ogu was full of gratitude to Rohr following his first training session with the Eagles since 2019.
“After the game yesterday (on Thursday) as I went to say hello to the guys to encourage them after the defeat,” Ogu said following his time with the team. “The coach invited me to come and train with the team today (Friday) so that is what I came to do with the team not that I’m travelling to Cameroon with the team, and even if I were to travel with them, the time is too short to get visas and other stuff.
“But I just appreciate the coach’s gesture, he’s always spoken about solidarity and he’s shown it with me and I really appreciate this privilege.”
Ogu would hope the gesture helps put a favourable spotlight on his quest to secure a new club and also helps the Eagles avenge their shock defeat to the CAR who they face again in Douala on Sunday.
Prior to moving to Saudi Arabia in 2019, Ogu spent five years with Israeli side Hapoel Beer Sheva for whom he played 193 games, scoring 18 goals and setting up another 10 in all competitions.
He has played 22 times for the Super Eagles and was part of the squad that finished in third place at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.