Manchester [UK], Feb 1 : Manchester United have signed Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo on loan from Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the season.
The experienced 30-year-old centre-forward is set to bolster United’s squad for the second half of the campaign, as the club competes in the Premier League, UEFA Europa League, and Emirates FA Cup.
Ighalo began his professional career in Nigeria with local clubs Prime and Julius Berger, before sealing a transfer to Norwegian side Lyn in 2007.
A year later, a move to Udinese in Italy eventually led to loan spells with Granada (twice), Cesena and Watford in the Premier League.
While at Vicarage Road with the Hornets, Ighalo impressively scored 40 goals from exactly 100 appearances across all competitions.
During that time he made three appearances against United and one at Old Trafford, losing twice and winning once, while also earning an assist.
That fruitful spell with Watford convinced Chinese team Changchun Yatai to sign him in 2017 and, two years later, in 2019, the Nigerian linked up with Shanghai Greenland Shenhua. Across all clubs in his career so far, Ighalo has scored 131 goals from 322 appearances.
The forward has also earned 35 caps for Nigeria and scored 16 times, notably finishing as top scorer in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Speaking about the loan deal, United’s manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said in a statement: “Odion is an experienced player. He will come in and give us an option of a different type of centre-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.”
United will take on Wolves in the Premier League match at Old Trafford later in the day.