Nigerian forward, Odion Ighalo on Tuesday, January 26 confirmed his exit from Manchester United, penning a farewell post in which he described playing for the Premier League side as the fulfillment of a life-long dream.
“It’s so hard to see this dream come to an end,” the former Watford striker who joined United from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua on the final day of the January 2020 transfer window posted on his Instagram handle.
“But I give God the glory for helping me fulfill this life long dream of putting on a Manchester United shirt as a player and represent this great club, it was indeed an honor I will forever cherish and be grateful for.”
Ighalo who scored five goals in 23 games in all competitions for the Red Devils was also thankful to the club manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for believing in him even as he lauded his teammates for making his time at United exciting and full of fun.
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“And I pray we win the LEAGUE and FA cup this year,” Ighalo added, a few days after the side beat bitter rivals Liverpool to advance to the next stage of the FA Cup.
“To the best fans in the world ( the Manchester United fans ) we have missed you, but we hear your voices cheering us on from afar, we can’t wait to have you all back on the stands.
“I’m still and would remain a MANCHESTER UNITED FAN forever. Once a Red, always a Red🔴 Thank you @manchesterunited and God bless 🔴🔴🔴🙏🏾.”
The Old Trafford side equally tweeted hours later to congratulate Ighalo for living his childhood dream.
“@IghaloJude lived his boyhood dream,” Manchester United tweeted on their official handle on Wednesday. “He pulled on the famous red shirt. He scored at in front of a packed Old Trafford. He was the first Nigerian to represent the club.
“Nothing will ever change that. Thank you and good luck, Odion — you’ll always be a Red.”
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) highest goalscorer was initially handed a six-month deal but the contract was later extended to one year after the English League was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ighalo became the first Nigerian to play for the Premier League team and will return to the Chinese Super League side when his contract officially ends on January 31st, 2021.
A number of clubs in Europe and others in the US Major League Soccer (MLS) are reportedly interested in the services of the Nigerian forward.