Friday, March 24, 2023

Ighalo set to feature against Watford as his United career draws to a close

Ighalo is expected to return to Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese Super League at the end of January.

• January 8, 2021
Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo [Photo credit: Sky Sports]

Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has confirmed that Nigerian forward Odion Ighalo will play a part in Saturday’s third-round FA Cup tie against his former side Watford.

The gaffer said at a press conference Friday that the 31-year-old striker, who has yet to feature for United since December 2, topped the goalscoring charts during a pre-match training session earlier today.

“I don’t know how many goals he scored today but he was, by a mile, the top scorer in the round-robin we just finished in training, so he’s not lost any of his sharpness or his quality,” the Red Devils’ boss said. “It’s special for Odion to be involved against Watford, he’s in the squad.”

It was not immediately known if Ighalo would be handed his first start since the Carabao Cup tie at Brighton late September.

Tomorrow’s game against the Hornets has been touted as Ighalo’s last in a Manchester United shirt, having managed only four appearances for the Red Devils this season.

The former Watford striker, who netted 33 times for the Hertfordshire-based team in the English topflight between 2014–2017, has yet to score a premier league goal for United.

Ighalo is expected to return to Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese Super League when his loan deal at the Manchester club expires at the end of January.

The ex-Nigerian international, a longtime admirer of the Red Devils, took a massive pay cut to cement his childhood dream move to Old Trafford early 2020.

His potential farewell appearance against Watford has, however, ignited mixed feelings amongst United fans.

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