Odion Ighalo is a man living the dream. A Manchester United fan as a young boy growing up in Lagos, he dreamt of turning out for the Premier League outfit.
Now, after making a loan move to Old Trafford in January, there is a strong possibility he will secure a permanent transfer from Shanghai Shenhua following some impressive performances.
A £15million fee has been placed on his head by his parent club and United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to sanction a deal for the Nigeria international to make him a full-time Manchester United player.
Ighalo, who has scored four goals in three starts for United, grew up watching Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United teams and his love of goalscoring was inspired by two Red Devils fan favourites.
‘I watched Andy Cole growing up,’ Ighalo told beIN Sports. ‘Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, they were two strikers at United who used to score goals.
They were very strong and scored a lot of goals.’ ‘I tried to see every game of United every weekend if possible,’ he added. ‘I still remember those memories.
‘When you say those kind of things (about playing for United when he was a child), people say “are you crazy?” because back then you don’t even know what the future holds.
‘First you just want to go outside the country to start playing – even for a small team, not even to talk of going to United.
‘But my support for the team was great. I never imagined it was going to turn out this way.
Even when I played in the Premier League for Watford, I never thought this was going to happen.’