Former Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo has surpassed the huge expectations placed on him when he signed his first loan deal for Manchester United from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.
The top scorer at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with five goals, just like the best sport betting company in Nigeria would bullishly do, took up a challenge and signed a five month loan deal for the Red Devils and has now impressed those who believed and did not believe in him alike.
Ighalo has scored four goals in eight games in all competitions for the most successful side in the English league.
Ighalo’s was a testament to the saying that miracles still happen.
Only a small percentage of fans in England thought it will happen on the last day of the January transfer window when the transfer speculation heated up.
The soon to be 30-year-old had many doubters least of all being former United legend Paul Scholes.
The onetime midfielder admitted to United’s club television, MUTV, he never believed things will turn out positive for the first Nigerian international to play for the club.
“I was a little bit dubious about the Ighalo one. I wasn’t quite sure how that would work but you have to say that’s worked as well.
“He’s a different kind of player from the players we had, a bit more of a target man which we miss and he seems to have settled in really well, scoring goals,” Scholes said.
Ighalo was also linked with a move to Newcastle United should United dither on extending the second loan.
That seems to be what might still happen should Shanghai Shenhua cast their eyes on another in form striker before 31 January 2021.
That scenario ought to present United the chance to perhaps hand the Nigerian yet another short contract until the end of the season but being 31 years old by then will almost not work in the favour of Ighalo.
Should Shanghai Shenhua ever consider another striker before January 2021, Ighalo’s agent could be working frantically to secure a contract with an EPL side who would not mind offering a contract to the player in the twilight of his career.
Ighalo’s recent comments that he might make a return to the Nigerian national team could be an indication that he needed such a platform to convince prospective suitors.