… he was first player for 95 years to score in his first four starts for the club
By Emmanuel Okogba
Odion Ighalo’s time at Manchester United has come to an end and the forward will not leave without expressing his gratitude to the club for the period he spent there albeit short.
Ighalo joined United on loan from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua as a back-up for injured Marcus Rashford at the time and scored five goals in 23 appearances during the 2019-20 campaign.
The loan deal was supposed to last for six months but was later extended to 12 months.
Ighalo in his farewell message wrote, “It’s so hard to see this dream come to an end. 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 honour I will forever cherish and be grateful for.
“To the manager, I say thank you for trusting and believing in me when many did not, to my amazing teammates I will miss you guys, it was always fun and a time I look forward to training and spending time with all of you. And I pray we win the LEAGUE and FA cup this year.
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“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.”
Ighalo made an immediate impact after joining at Old Trafford, scoring twice against Derby County in the Emirates FA Cup and registering Europa League goals versus Club Brugge and LASK, before the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the suspension of all football in March.
With the 2019/20 campaign continuing into the summer, United reached an agreement to extend Odion’s loan until this month, and the 31-year-old soon added another strike to his tally, opening the scoring in the 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final win at Norwich City and becoming the first player for 95 years to score in his first four starts for the club.
The club in a statement thanked the forward for his efforts while at the club and wished him all the best for the future.