Manchester United forward Odion Ighalo has penned an emotional goodbye message to the club, bringing an end to his fairytale.
The 31-year-old said it was an honour to wear the United colours and represent his boyhood club.
“It’s so hard to see this dream come to an end. But I give God the glory for helping me fulfill this life long dream of putting on a Manchester United shirt as a player and represent this great club, it was indeed an honor I will forever cherish and be grateful for,” he said in a social media post on Tuesday night.
Ighalo joined United on loan in dramatic fashion on deadline day in January 2020 before extending his deal in June. This loan is set to officially expire on January 31.
The former Watford player thanked United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær for “believing in me when many did not”, adding he would miss his teammates.
Pledging loyalty to the club, he said: “I’m still and would remain a MANCHESTER UNITED FAN forever. Once a Red, always a Red🔴
Thank you @manchesterunited and God bless.”
Ighalo’s stint at United was more than the books said, it was a marriage between the club and millions of Nigerians, with Ighalo being the first Nigerian to star for the Manchester club.
Ighalo netted five goals in total for United, with all of them scored in the Europa League and FA Cup.
The lockdown cruelly ruined his momentum and his playing time afterwards was reduced with Marcus Rashford fit again. The arrival of Edison Cavani also did not help his course.
Ighalo’s announcement now allows him to focus on finding a new club before the transfer deadline, if a team can strike a deal with Shanghai Shenhua.