New Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo claims it’s ‘a dream come true’ to move to Old Trafford, following his surprise transfer from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua on the last day of the transfer window.
The 30-year-old’s return to the Premier League was one of the most unexpected deals in an otherwise relatively quiet January, arriving slightly too late to be included in their squad which faced Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
Ighalo could be involved for Manchester United when they face Chelsea in two weeks, and ahead of his debut for the club the Nigeria international claimed his move to Old Trafford has seen his childhood dream come true.
“It’s a dream come true because since I was a kid I followed and dreamt of Manchester United,” Ighalo told Sky Sports News. “But it is a reality now. I cannot say much more now until I get started.
“It’s been crazy. Obviously, I am happy to be in Manchester first of all. This is a great opportunity for me and I am grateful to God, and to my agent, and the coach who has given me this opportunity to be here.
“I am happy to be here and to work out with the team and finish very well this season.”
An image of a young Ighalo in Nigeria wearing United’s 2005/06 away shirt, which did the rounds on social media, appears to back up his claims of boyhood fandom.
Ighalo arrives at Manchester United with 55 Premier League appearances under his belt already, scoring 17 top-flight goals during his three-year spell on the books at Watford, eventually moving to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua in a £20m transfer.
Manchester United do have the option of buy Ighalo permanently at the end of his loan spell with the club, and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the 30-year-old will offer the club different options to Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in attack.
“Odion is an experienced player,” Solskjaer said. “He will come in and give us an option of a different type of center-forward for the short spell he’s staying with us.
“A great lad and very professional, he will make the most of his time here.”