No medical checks, no buy-out clause due to rushing time, the Nigerian striker is probably the strangest deal in the history of the Manchester team.
At the age of 30, Odion Ighalo’s career at first glance resembles many other ordinary African players. Thanks to the strong hands, he came to Europe from a very young age, overcoming many difficulties to assert himself. Ighalo flashed in the peak football environment for a short time, before moving to Asia to make money.
As the winter transfer market is about to close, Manchester United picks up the phone to contact Shanghai Shenhua. The Old Trafford team was in a state of panic after a series of other businesses were at a standstill.
The Red Devils finally succeeded when the Chinese club agreed to let the Nigerian striker leave. However, with it being too late to complete all normal procedures, MU accepted to sign with Odion Ighalo without medical examination. The red half of Manchester believes that the experience of a striker with time to storm in the Premier League will help them for the rest of the season.
When Ighalo was playing football in potholes in Lagos, Nigeria, Ighalo was discovered by a trigger named Marcelo Houseman. Houseman continued to introduce Ighalo to Atta Anek, another stork. Atta Anek arranged for Ighalo to travel to Norway to raise a football dream. Lyn, a club in the Norwegian fourth division agreed to give Ighalo a trial. And his European journey began.
After the fuss between Lyn and the representatives, just over a year after arriving in Europe, Ighalo caught the eye of Udinese scouts. He was signed by the Serie A club 5 years, then wandered from Spain to Italy in the colors of Cesena and Granada.
The career of the striker born in 1989 only released when he started playing for Watford in 2014. “I refused a lot of money, because my dream is to play in the Premier League, ” Ighalo said in 2016. Chinese clubs started paying attention to Ighalo when the player scored 20 goals in the 2014/15 Championship in the 2014/15 Championship, helping Watford gain promotion.
A year later, Ighalo opened fire 15 times in the Premier League season 2015/16, becoming one of the most watched strikers in the tournament. “I believe in God and always pray when faced with difficult choices,” Ighalo said. “I know I can still make money and play top football. I came to Watford because I knew I could have a chance to play in the Premier League.”
However, the harsh Premer League environment made Ighalo’s dream difficult. After a summer of 2016 contacted by Arsenal , Liverpool or MU, Ighalo decided to stay in Watford, sign a new 5-year contract.
The 2016/17 season was a nightmare for the Nigerian. He only scored 1 goal in 18 appearances in the Premier League. Before coming to Changchun Yatai in January 2017, Ighalo was stunned for 15 consecutive games playing for Watford.
In China, Ighalo scored 46 goals in 74 appearances. In the Chinese Super League 2018, he became the second highest scorer in the tournament with 21 goals. However, the Nigerian striker could not help Changchun Yatai avoid relegation.
Ighalo doesn’t seem to have many options. He once refused to go to China a year ago, when the Hebei China Fortune Club offered him a salary of up to £ 40 million over four years. For a boy who grew up in a slum in Nigeria like Ighalo, money always plays an important role.