Odion Ighalo made a surprise January transfer window deadline day loan switch to Manchester United from Chinese Super League club, Shanghai Shenhua. Completesports.com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU here highlights three reasons the former Super Eagles striker would make a big impact at the Old Trafford
PREMIER LEAGUE EXPERIENCE
Ighalo is returning to familiar territory following his previous stint with Watford. The 30-year-old spent three seasons at Watford and made huge impact with The Hornets. He scored 36 goals in 90 league appearances during his time at the club.
That experience will come handy in what is expected to be a tough spell at Old Trafford where he is expected to shoulder goal scoring responsibilities in the absence of the injured Marcus Rashford.
Established strikers like Samuel Eto’o Fils and Gonzalo Higuain have struggled in the highly physical Premier League in the past, but Ighalo have the experience to navigate through this challenge.
PROVEN GOAL SCORER
Odion Ighalo may have not been the kind of signing most United fans craved for, but they surely have a proven goal scorer in their ranks. Aside from his successful spell with Watford , he was also the leading marksman during his two year spell at Chinese Super League club, Changchun Yatai.
Ighalo scored 15 goals in 27 league appearances in his first season at Changchun Yatai and hit the back of the net 21 times in 28 games the following season.
Injury disrupted his appearance in his first season at Shanghai Shenhua, but he still managed to score 10 goals in 17 league appearances for the FA Cup kings.
On the international scene, he was top scorer during the qualifiers for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with seven goals and also won the golden boot with six goals at the competition proper in Egypt.
Overall, he scored 16 goals in 35 outings for Nigeria.
Talk of a cat with nine lives, then Odion Ighalo is surely the one. The 30-year-old endured a difficult childhood to become one of the household names in the world football. From a dusty playground in Ajegunle, he has now fulfilled his dream of playing for his childhood club.
The powerful forward was singled out as the villain of the piece by the majority of Super Eagles fans after the side’s elimination from the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The striker endured abuse on social media from fans who not only targeted him, but also abused his wife and called his children names too, even going so far as making death threats against the player and his family members.
Despite pressure from his family to quit national assignment right away in the face of the abuses, he stepped up his commitment and helped the Super Eagles qualify for AFCON 2019, emerging top scorer with seven goals.
He then went on to claim the golden boot in Egypt 2019, before bowing out of international football.
Playing for the 20-time Premier League champions will no doubt put him under the spotlight, but Ighalo surely have what it takes to excel at the club.