By John Egbokhan
Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo has primed himself to burst loose when the much-anticipated 2017 soccer season of the Chinese Super League (CSL) kicks off next Friday, March 3.
The opening weekend of the money-spinning CSL starts with a tussle between Guizhou Zhicheng and Liaoning Whowin, while on the next day, Ighalo’s club, Changchun Yata, are on the road to face Shanghai East Asia, even as the club of Super Eagles captain, John Obi Mikel,, Tianjin Quanjian have an away game against Guangzhou R&F.
Ighalo, who joined Changchun Yatai from Watford, for a whopping £20m fee, is being looked up to by the moneybags Far East side to produce the goals that will catapult them to the title and an Asian Champions League qualification ticket.
And Ighalo, who made an impressive start to life while playing for Watford in the English Premier League, has spoken of his desire to replicate the same scoring form that helped Watford secure their Premier League status and reach the semi-finals of the most glamorous and oldest football competition in the world, the FA Cup at his new Chinese club.
In a tweet posed on his twitter handle, Ighalo said that “I can’t wait to get going in my the league here in China. The d-day is gradually coming and my aim is to score goals for my club and hope we can win the league”.
After scoring a total of 39 goals in 100 appearances for Watford, the former Granada star forward, will feel confident that he can do better in the Chinese Super League, which is still at its infancy level.
With fewer top-level competitors playing in the Chinese Super League, Ighalo, who is one of the stand-out foreigner strikers snapped up during the transfer market, may end up just surpassing his modest expectations if things work according to plans.
And his club, Changchun Yata, may well be ready to splash out more cash on a player, whose football journey is only just picking up.