Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo has revealed his delight in remaining at the Old Trafford club for the remainder of the season, and half of the next season. It was expected that the Nigerian, who arrived at United at the end of January after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a move for an additional striker because of Marcus Rashford’s injury.
United made the confirmation on Monday that the player will no longer need to head back to China to prepare for the Chinese Super League season to start with parent club Shanghai Shenhua, which is good news for both United and the striker. Ighalo, 30, was mocked by supposed supporters of the Old Trafford club shortly after his arrival.
However, in eight appearances at the club he has scored four goals and one assist, which is a good return considering the short time he had been at the club. Now he will be able to aim for a higher number of goals as United look to confirm a top four finish in the Premier League, qualify for the UEFA Champions League and search for a trophy this season.
The Nigerian was over the moon to sign for United, a club he had supported as a child and with his knowledge of the league and the fact he scored 40 goals and 11 assists in 100 appearances for Watford, it was clear that Ighalo was the short-term option that Solskjaer was seeking. Speaking about his loan extension, Ighalo said:
“I’m really happy. It’s a dream for me to be here. I’m buzzing and ready to go.
“I feel okay. The last few days have been difficult, as there have been different talks about it, but now I’m really happy so I need to concentrate fully.
“I’m here until the end of January, so it’s good for me. I decided I want to stay and I’m happy.
“Since the first day I arrived, I made it clear that I wanted whatever it takes to continue that work.
“It was very difficult, there were some talks, but I’m happy they finally agreed and got everything done. Everything is official now.
“I’m sending thanks to the Shanghai president and director for the support, because they know this is what I want. So I’m thanking them and I’m happy this has happened. They wish me all the best too.
“Since I was young, I’ve been supporting this club and playing for it is a dream. Now I’ve extended my loan, it makes it more even clear and I’m here until the end of January.
“I just want to work hard and enjoy it, support the team and do whatever I can to make us go higher and higher.”
Ighalo and United will be raring to go when the Premier League officially returns, which is said to be on the 17 June, giving United just over two weeks to get ready for action. United’s first match should be against Tottenham Hotspur away from home, which would have been the clubs next match back in March when the league was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.