It was one of the more surprising deals of the transfer window, and there was a collective intake of breath when news broke of Odion Ighalo’s transfer to Manchester United.
The striker, who had been plying his trade at Shanghai Shenhua in China, signed for the Red Devils on transfer deadline day, although there had been an approach from Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur which was turned down.
The reason, it appears, is a simple one. According to journalist, Fabrizio Romano, via his Twitter account, the player has been a United fan since he was a youngster, and hence the chance to play at Old Trafford is clearly one that was too good to turn down.
Tottenham called him but the player decided for Man Utd – he’s #MUFC fan since he was a kid.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 31, 2020
Football.london would appear to back up Romano’s line, quoting Ighalo’s 2016 interview in The Sun, published by the International Business Times. “They were my team growing up. I loved watching Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke on TV. They were my heroes and playing at Old Trafford has always been a dream.”
Though it’s probably not quite the stellar signing that United’s supporters would’ve preferred, Ighalo does give them strength and depth in a position in which they are struggling because of injuries.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs the player to hit the ground running too, as United go looking for that all-important fourth Champions League spot.