United complete loan move for Nigerian striker Ighalo

Manchester United can confirm that Odion Ighalo will join on loan from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua until the end of the season.

A lifelong Reds supporter, the experienced 30-year-old centre-forward is set to bolster our squad for the second half of the campaign, as the club competes in the Premier League, UEFA Europa League and Emirates FA Cup.

Speaking about the loan deal, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “Odion is an experienced player. He will come in and give us an option of a different type of centre-forward for the short spell he’s staying with us.

“A great lad and very professional, he will make the most of his time here.”

Nigeria international Ighalo was top scorer at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Ighalo began his professional career in his native Nigeria with local clubs Prime and Julius Berger, before sealing a transfer to Norwegian side Lyn in 2007. 

A year later, a move to Udinese in Italy eventually led to loan spells with Granada (twice), Cesena and Watford in the Premier League.

While at Vicarage Road with the Hornets, Ighalo impressively scored 39 goals from 99 appearances across all competitions.

During that time he made three appearances against United and one at Old Trafford, losing twice and winning once, while also earning an assist. 

That fruitful spell with Watford convinced Chinese team Changchun Yatai to sign him in 2017 and, two years later, in 2019, the Nigerian linked up with Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.

Across all clubs in his career so far, Ighalo has scored 131 goals from 322 appearances.

The forward has also earned 35 caps for Nigeria and scored 16 times, notably finishing as top scorer in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Speaking in 2016, Ighalo admitted that United would be a dream move for him as a lifelong supporter of the Reds. 

“They were my team growing up,” he was quoted as saying. “I loved watching Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke on TV. They were my idols and playing at Old Trafford has always been a dream.”

We all look forward to welcoming Ighalo to the Theatre of Dreams.

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