Odion Ighalo has revealed that his first goal for Manchester United has been the highlight of his stay at the club so far.
Ighalo arrived at Old Trafford on January deadline day on a six-month loan deal, as United’s desperate search for a striker saw a move for Bournemouth’s Joshua King blocked by the Cherries.
United received a fair amount of criticism for signing a striker who had spent the previous three years in China but the Nigerian soon started to prove the doubters wrong.
Ighalo has scored five goals, and grabbed an assist, in just five starts for the club, with his first goal coming in the Europa League against Club Brugge.
The goal may have only been a simple tap-in from six yards after Juan Mata had put the ball on a plate, but it holds a special place in Ighalo’s heart.
“My favourite moment is when I scored my first goal for Manchester United,” he told the BBC.
“I was the first Nigerian to play for Manchester United, the first Nigerian to score for Manchester United.
“I could not sleep in the night, waking up, checking my phone messages from all over the world from friends and family and all that.
“It means a lot to me.”
It looked as if Ighalo’s dream move to the team he supported growing up was going to be cut cruelly short when the season was curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as his loan was set to expire before the campaign could be finished.
However, United managed to strike a deal with his parent club, Shanghai Shenhua, to extend his loan until January 2021.
Ighalo says that he is going to give everything he has to United until it’s time for him to leave.
“That energy, that positivity, that happiness, never change,” he added. “You can see that smile on my face every time I go in there.
“It’s not every man’s dream that comes to pass, well mine did. My kids will grow up and see that I played for a team that I supported from when I was young, I cried when they lose and all of that.
“I want to keep doing what I need to do until the last day that I play for the club.”