What Does the Future Hold for Odion Ighalo?

Odion Ighalo

With his loan spell at Manchester United coming to an end at the end of the month, Nigerian striker is believed to be weighing up his next move. The 31-year-old is set to return to parent club Shanghai Shenhua in China, before potentially completing a permanent transfer elsewhere.

The former Super Eagles frontman, who retired from international duty after the 2019 African Cup of Nations, is believed to have an interest in playing in the MLS, however offers from Europe and the Middle East are also expected. Ighalo enjoyed a fine start to life at Old Trafford, having returned to England in January last year, scoring in the FA Cup and Europa League.

Why Ighalo’s Time at Old Trafford Was a Success

However, with Edison Cavani having arrived in Manchester over the summer, Ighalo has seen his playing time diminish significantly. This is unlikely to have effected the striker too much however, who made no secret of his delight at playing for the club he supported growing up.

United are priced at around 8.00 with the best Nigerian betting sites to win the Premier League this season, something which would only add to Ighalo’s delight, despite having played so little in the English top-flight. It is understood that those representing the striker have already held talks with a number of clubs, having recently made it clear that the MLS is just one of a number of options.

What is Next for the Former Super Eagles Frontman?

Parent club Shanghai Shenhua expect to have Ighalo available for the beginning of the 2021 Chinese Super League, however it remains to be seen as to whether this materializes. Having scored five goals for the Red Devils in his time, it would come as no surprise should fellow Premier League clubs come calling.

Speaking on a potential move, Ighalo’s agent stated that: “Any potential move after Manchester United definitely involves Shanghai Shenhua. There’s a slight sense of disappointment about the current season, but Ighalo remains grateful for the opportunity to have played for one of the biggest clubs in the world. He wanted to end his time at United on a high by playing more for his boyhood club but he is grateful to the manager and proud of himself.”

Ighalo scored 16 goals in 35 appearances for Nigeria, including the goal that secured the Super Eagles third place finish at the 2019 African Cup of Nations. The former Watford man finished the tournament as top scorer, with give goals and one assist. It remains to be seen as to whether Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr will look to tempt Ighalo out of retirement, however it would appear unlikely, especially with the likes of Victor Osimhen and Kelechi Ịheanachọ to select from.