Odion Ighalo – Player Profile 2021 & Career

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Odion Ighalo
Player Profile
NameOdion Jude Ighalo
NationalityNigerian
Date of Birth16 June 1989
ClubAl-Shabab Football Club
PositionForward

📜 History of Odion Ighalo

Odion Ighalo was born in Lagos, Nigeria on June 16th, 1989. His youth career began in 2000 with Prime FC – now renamed Osun United Football Club. He spent five years in the youth ranks at Prime before turning professional in 2005.

Odion Ighalo – Career in Nigeria

Understandably, when Odion Ighalo signed as a professional, it was with Prime FC – the club where he spent the previous five years. He was only 16 years old at the time, so first-team opportunities were limited. Ighalo spent one season with Prime FC, making 5 appearances, before moving to Julius Berger.

It’s fair to say that Odion Ighalo started to shape his career while at Julius Berger. Despite not being a first-team regular, he made 10 appearances, scoring 5 goals. His performances caught the eye of a FIFA agent by the name of Marcelo Houseman, who recommended him to coaches and scouts overseas. After a single season with Julius Berger, Odion Ighalo left Nigeria to ply his trade in other countries.

🌐 Odion Ighalo – International Career

Under the wing of agent Emefie Aneke Atta, Ighalo signed for Lyn in Norway, where he scored on his debut at just 18 years of age. He played for Lyn for two seasons, bagging 9 goals in 20 appearances. This included a run of 6 goals in 13 games in his second season with the club.

Italy to Spain to England

Odion Ighalo’s impressive form in Norway won him plenty of admirers. In 2008, he signed a 5-year contract with Italian side Udinese. Appearances were few and far between, and he only managed 1 goal during his debut year in Italy.

Udinese agreed to loan him to Granada, who was playing in Spain’s Segunda Division B at the time. He scored 17 goals in his first year in Spain, which helped Granada gain promotion. A curious 3-game loan spell saw him back in Italy with Cesena before he returned to Granada (still on loan). From 2011 – 2014, Ighalo made 95 more appearances for Granada, scoring on 16 occasions. In July 2014, Ighalo was loaned out to Watford in the English Championship.

Watford

After 8 games – scoring 3 goals – Watford terminated Ighalo’s loan and signed him on permanently. His goals propelled Watford to runners-up in the Championship that season.

Odion Ighalo scored on his Premier League debut as Watford drew 2-2 with Everton. A sparkling start to life in England’s top-flight saw him score five times which landed him December’s Premier League Player of the Month award. The goals dried up the following year, which led to Watford listening to offers.

China and United

In January 2017, Ighalo joined Changchun Yatai in the Chinese Super League for £20 million. He scored 36 times for Changchun in two seasons before moving to Shanghai Shenhua, where he continued to score goals.

Ighalo’s dream move happened in January 2020, when he joined Manchester Utd on loan. He was initially only meant to be at Old Trafford for five months, but due to the disruption caused by Covid-19, Ighalo remained in Manchester until January 2021. While he didn’t score in the Premier League for Utd, he bagged five cup goals for the Red Devils.

Al-Shabab

After leaving United, Ighalo signed for the Saudi club Al-Shabab. To date, he’s scored 14 goals in 19 appearances.

National Team

Ighalo’s stellar performances for Watford earned him a call-up to the national team in 2015. He went on to make 35 senior appearances for Nigeria, which included him playing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Odion Ighalo’s best performances for Nigeria came in the 2019 African Cup of Nations. He scored 7 goals during the qualifying campaign to ensure Nigeria got to the finals, which were held in Egypt. In the finals tournament, Ighalo found the net 5 times – earning him the Golden Boot.

Odion Ighalo Teams
PeriodTeamAppearancesLeague Goals
2005Prime FC50
2006Julius Berger105
2007 – 2008Lyn209
2008 – 2014Udinese61
2009 – 2010 (loan)Granada2616
2010 – 2011 (loan)Cesena30
2011 – 2014 (loan)Granada9516
2014 (loan)Watford83
2014 – 2017Watford8233
2017 – 2018Changchun Yatai5536
2019 – 2021Shanghai Shenhua1710
2020 – 2021 (loan)Manchester Utd120
2021 – presentAl Shabab1914
National Team
PeriodTeamAppearancesLeague Goals
2009Nigeria U2030
2015 – 2019Nigeria3516

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Frequently Asked Questions About Odion Ighalo

To find out more information about Odion Ighalo, check out the FAQs below:

Who is Odion Ighalo?

Odion Ighalo is a Nigerian professional footballer whose previous clubs include Manchester Utd, Watford, and Udinese. He is currently playing for Al Shabab in Saudi Arabia.

Where is Odion Ighalo from?

Ighalo is from Lagos in Nigeria.

What is Odion Ighalo’s current club now?

Odion Ighalo’s current club is Al-Shabab. They play in the Saudi Professional League.

Is Odion Ighalo a left or right footer?

Ighalo is predominantly right-footed.

Who is Odion Ighalo’s agent?

Odion Ighalo’s agent in Emefie Aneke Atta.

How many trophies did Odion Ighalo win?

Ighalo has won one trophy – the Chinese Cup in 2019 with Shanghai Shenhua.

🏆 What are Odion Ighalo awards?

He was the top scorer (Golden Boot) in the African Cup of Nations in 2019 and was included in the Team of the Tournament. Additionally, in December 2015, Ighalo won the Premier League Player of the Month award.