Odion Ighalo.

Ighalo exclusive: Why I chose the no.25 shirt

Wednesday 05 February 2020 11:10

In his first interview as a Manchester United player, Odion Ighalo has exclusively revealed why he will wear the number 25 shirt throughout a six-month loan spell with his beloved Reds.

The passionate Nigerian striker has joined the club on a temporary basis from Chinese side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, to boost Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad for the rest of the 2019/20 season. 

Speaking to us about his arrival, in a must-watch interview, Ighalo provides an insight into his thinking when presented with a list of squad numbers that were available for selection.
“Well, I think that number and number 19 were available,” says 30-year-old Odion. 

“When I was at Watford I wore the number 24 and it was not available. 

“In Shanghai I had number nine and that was not available. So I said to myself that 24 plus one is 25, so I said 'okay let me go with the number 25 instead of 19'. 
United’s first-ever African player, Quinton Fortune, also wore the number 25 shirt during his six seasons as a player and Ighalo admits the former South Africa international influenced his decision.

“Yeah, because I watched Quinton Fortune played for Man United, he was a great player and I know he put on the number 25, so I said to myself that number 25 is good,” Odion explains. 

“Even though I didn't get the number that I was looking for, 25 is a perfect number because it is one above the number that I wore when I was in the Premier League.”
The number 25 shirt has been vacant at United since Antonio Valencia left the club last summer and, using his official Instagram account, the Ecuadorian has posted a good luck message to Ighalo. 

“I always saw the number 25 as an opportunity to work beyond my dreams,” he writes. “It has been my inspiration and became my amulet. I wish you all the success now with this shirt brother!”