… was the first player in 95 years to score in his first four starts with the club
By Emmanuel Okogba
Odion Ighalo’s stint at Manchester United has come to an end and the forward will not leave without expressing his gratitude to the club for his time there, however brief.
Ighalo joined United on loan from the Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua as a backup to the injured Marcus Rashford at the time and scored five goals in 23 appearances during the 2019-20 campaign.
The loan agreement was supposed to last six months, but then it was extended to 12 months.
Ighalo in his farewell message wrote: “It is so difficult to see this dream come to an end. But I give God the glory for helping me fulfill this lifelong dream of putting on a Manchester United jersey as a player and representing this great club, indeed it was an honor that I will always cherish and be grateful for.
“To the coach, I thank him for trusting and believing in me when many did not, my amazing teammates I will miss, it was always fun and a time that I look forward to training and spending time with all of you. And I pray that we win the League Cup and the FA this year.
“To the best fans in the world (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 in the stands.
“I am still and will continue to be a MANCHESTER UNITED FAN forever. Once red, always red. Thank you @manchesterunited and God bless you. “
Ighalo made an immediate impact after joining Old Trafford, scoring two goals against Derby County in the Emirates FA Cup and recording Europa League goals against 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 struck a deal to extend Odion’s loan until this month, and the 31-year-old soon added another strike to his account, opening the scoring in the 2-1 quarter of the FA Cup. final victory at Norwich City and becoming the first player in 95 years to score in his first four starts for the club.
The club in a statement thanked the striker for his efforts while at the club and wished him all the best for the future.