Odion Ighalo and Craig Cathcart applaud supporters after Watford game.

Cathcart: Ighalo will do everything to succeed

Wednesday 05 February 2020 07:00

Watford centre-back Craig Cathcart believes his former team-mate Odion Ighalo has the personality and skill to thrive while on loan at Manchester United.

The Academy graduate, who won the 2006/07 Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award, joined Watford just a few weeks before Ighalo arrived from Udinese in July 2014.
During a three-year spell, the pair were part of a successful period for the Hertfordshire club, which included earning promotion to the Premier League and then flourishing in their first season back in the big time.

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Now Ighalo is poised to return to top-flight action, after agreeing a loan deal to join the Reds from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, and Cathcart is excited about the contribution his erstwhile colleague could make up north.
“I’m delighted for him, to be honest,” said Cathcart. “I know it’s something that he’ll be really enthusiastic about, because he was an ambitious player. 
“It’s an amazing opportunity for him and I’m sure he’ll do everything in his power to make the most of it.”
The Northern Ireland international cites Ighalo’s thirst for testing himself against the best as a good indicator of what he might achieve at United.
“I remember when we first got into the Premier League, the big occasions against the big clubs, he’d always look forward to them,” recalls Cathcart. “And, if I remember correctly, he scored quite a lot of goals against the big clubs.
“So the fact that he’s going to be given the opportunity to play at United is just huge. He’s got every chance to have a successful spell there, because he’s a good player and he can score goals, definitely.”
Cathcart was part of the United side that reached the 2007 FA Youth Cup final, alongside Danny Welbeck and Danny Drinkwater.
The 30-year-old centre-forward was renowned for his partnership with Watford captain Troy Deeney while playing at Vicarage Road, but Cathcart describes him as a versatile player.
“He can adapt. He’s got good link-up play if you do play with two strikers, and he can also hold the ball up if you want to go with the one striker,” he assesses.
“He can run the channels as well, because he’s got good pace and good strength and he’s always a threat in the box.”
Cathcart played the entirety of Watford's 2-0 win over United in December.
Ighalo’s first run-out at Old Trafford as a Red could come against his former club, who are the first visitors to M16 after the winter break on 23 February.
"I haven’t spoken to him, but, as soon as he signed, I knew we were playing against United pretty soon,” notes Cathcart.
“So I’ll be looking forward to seeing him and having a chat, and seeing how he’s getting on, because he’s a great lad and someone I really enjoyed playing with."
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