Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has left the door open for Peter Odemwingie to make a return to the international set-up.
The West Brom striker has not represented his country since February 2011 after falling out with the former captain over his omission from the 2013 African Cup of Nations.
Odemwingie has made 55 appearances for Nigeria since making his debut in 2002, scoring nine goals, but a lack of playing time for his club and the dispute with Keshi has seen him overlooked for selection. However, the 51-year-old coach has insisted the door is still open for the striker to make a comeback.
“He (Odemwingie) still has a place in the team,” Keshi told SuperSport. “I’m not looking for an apology from him.
“He is somebody that I like very well and he knows that. The thing is, it’s the team that I’m thinking about.”
Odemwingie barely featured at the Hawthorns towards the back end of last season after a failed attempt to force a move to QPR, but former Nigerian national team psychologist Robinson Okosun was quick to defend him against the tag of trouble-maker that he has picked up.
“Odemwingie is not a troublesome person,” he said. “I know him better than a lot of Nigerians do.
“I have worked with him for years in the national team and I can tell you he’s one of the nicest and friendliest persons you will ever meet.
“People have been talking about what happened at West Brom last season but all human beings pass through phases in their lives.
“What (Odemwingie) needs now is support of Nigerians and I commend Keshi for this bold step and he has now shown he’s a man of his words when he declared in the past that the striker is still part of his plans.”
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