Nigerian forward Jude Odion Ighalo has finally signed a loan extension with Manchester United which will see him remain at the Premier League side until January 2021.
Recall that the former Super Eagles of Nigeria striker joined Manchester United from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in January for a loan deal which expired on Sunday, 31 May 2020.
Prior to the expiration of his contract, Shanghai Shenhua wanted him back to China to sign an improved contract extension with the Chinese club which would have seen him earn a whopping £400,000 a week. But Odion Ighalo preferred to remain at Manchester United even if he has to take a pay cut. His dream of remaining at the club was finally sealed today, June 1, 2020.
Ighalo became the first Nigerian to play for Manchester United which has been his childhood dream club, when he joined the club at the last hour of the 2020 January transfer window. Since he joined the club, he has scored four goals and made three assists in 8 appearances.
Before now, the coach of Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has talked about how the club would want to continue enjoying the services of the Nigerian. But Ighalo‘s hope of extending his stay at United was limited when the club’s forward Marcus Rashford recovered from the injury that made United sign Ighalo on the short term loan deal.
However, the strong will of Ighalo to remain at the club coupled with the impact he has made during his short spell at the club gave United no choice than to extend the loan deal when the world least expected it.
“It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish what he started and win a trophy with us,” Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.
“Shanghai Shenhua have been great towards us, allowing him to play for his dream club.”
Though on this loan deal, there is no option for United to sign him on a permanent basis when the deal expires in January, the player would strive to make the best of the second chance he has gotten. Who knows, he might help United to win a Europa League and the English FA Cup before the expiration of the deal.
Recall that the club which currently sits on the 5th spot of the Premier League table is still in the two tournaments – Europa League and FA Cup. They await the visit of LASK to Old Trafford for the second leg of the Europa League round of 16 with 5 goals win advantage. When the English FA gives the go-ahead, the club will also play in the FA Cup quarter-finals.