Ighalo loan period ends

Wednesday 27 January 2021 12:00

Odion Ighalo has returned to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua after his loan deal with Manchester United came to an end.

The former Nigeria international joined the Reds on a temporary basis in January 2020, initially until the end of May.

Ighalo made an immediate impact at Old Trafford, scoring twice against Derby County in the Emirates FA Cup and registering Europa League goals versus Club Brugge and LASK, before the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the suspension of all football in March.

Relive some of Odion's best moments in a United shirt.

With the 2019/20 campaign continuing into the summer, United reached an agreement to extend Odion’s loan until this month, and the 31-year-old soon added another strike to his tally, opening the scoring in the 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final win at Norwich City and becoming the first player for 95 years to score in his first four starts for the club.

Overall, Ighalo made 23 appearances for United, scoring five goals. Taking to Instagram, the ex-Watford man, who is, of course, a fanatical Red, thanked the players, staff and supporters.

“It’s so hard to see this dream come to an end,” Odion wrote. “But I give God the glory for helping me fulfil this lifelong dream of putting on a Manchester United shirt as a player and represent this great club, it was indeed an honour I will forever cherish and be grateful for.

“To the manager I say thank you for trusting and believing in me when many did not. To my amazing team-mates I will miss you guys, it was always fun and a time I look forward to training and spending time with all of you. And I pray we win the league and FA Cup this year.

“To the best fans in the world (the Manchester United fans) we have missed you, but we hear your voices cheering us on from afar, we can’t wait to have you all back on the stands.

“I’m still and would remain a MANCHESTER UNITED FAN forever. Once a Red, always a Red.

“Thank you @manchesterunited and God bless.”

Ighalo cherishes connection with fans


The Nigerian forward believes there's a simple reason as to why he made such a quick impact with United supporters.

A number of current Reds commented on the post, to say farewell to the striker.

Club captain Harry Maguire wrote 'All the best mate', while Bruno Fernandes posted a message in Italian which translates as 'We will miss you."

Scott McTominay, David De Gea, Jesse Lingard and Donny van de Beek all offered their best wishes too.

We’d like to join the players and thank Odion for his efforts while at the club and wish him all the best for the future.