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Ighalo: Manchester United, Watford, NFF, and CAF celebrate Nigerian star

Manchester United striker and former Nigeria international, Odion Ighalo, has been celebrated on his 31st birthday.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Confederation of African Football (Caf), Premier League sides Watford and the Red Devils have sent heartfelt messages to the forward.

The Hornets and the Old Trafford outfit recollected the on-loan Shanghai Shenhua striker’s contribution with videos.

 

The forward, who was born on June 16, 1989, in Lagos, was raised in Edo State and started his professional football career with Prime of Osogbo.

He also played for Julius Berger before leaving Nigeria to continue his development in Europe, joining Norwegian side Lyn Oslo in 2007.

Ighalo then moved to Italy to team up with Udinese where he spent six years, including loan spells with Granada and Cesena.

The striker signed for Watford, initially on loan before the deal was made permanent in 2014, and made a significant contribution during his time with the club.

Ighalo scored 36 league goals in 90 appearances for the Vicarage Road Stadium outfit and in December 2015, he was named Premier League Player of the Month following his impressive performances in front of goal.

The forward left the Hornets in 2017 for Chinese Super League side Changchun Yatai and delivered fine displays during his one-year stay, scoring 10 goals in 17 league matches.

He left for rivals Shanghai Shenhua after turning down a chance to join Spanish giants Barcelona and in January he sealed a shock loan switch to Manchester United on transfer deadline day.

Since his arrival at the Old Trafford, the former Nigeria international has become the toast of the fans following his eye-catching showings.

The forward has scored four goals and provided one assist in only eight games across all competitions before the coronavirus outbreak which led to the suspension of the Premier League.

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