Ighalo says he has no regrets about Manchester United spell

Odion Ighalo left Manchester United in January 2021 after a year at the club, offering striking cover under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

It cannot be pretended that Ighalo would have ended up as a United player if the recruitment in forward areas had been optimum.

But Ighalo is a boyhood United fan and that pride at representing the club was evident throughout his time at the club.

The Nigerian hitman has given an interview to ESPN where he spoke about his enduring pride about the achievement and the fact he has no regrets.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

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“I have been talking to my children about Manchester United, the experience. I left Old Trafford with pride, with my head up, because it was my dream team and not everybody’s dream comes to pass. Mine came to pass so every day of my life, I’m grateful.

“To be the first Nigerian to play there and so far the only Nigerian, those are great achievements for me and I did well so I’m happy for that. The atmosphere in Old Trafford is different. It is a big club. If you’re not inside, you don’t know how big the club is. It is a massive, massive, massive club.

“I thank God I played for the biggest club in the world, it’s an achievement for me and when you say, “what I should do better?”. I think I did everything I should do. I worked hard, I scored a few goals and I’m happy.

“I don’t have one regret, I have zero regrets for my time at Manchester United. They are still my team till today and I’m going to support that team to death. Even when they are struggling, I will still support them because it is Red Devils all the way.”

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Ighalo was just a short-term fix, and in that respect, he did exactly what he came to do.

Ten months after his United exit, he earned a surprise international recall for Nigeria and he now plays for Saudi league champions Al Hilal.

He scored on his debut in the Club World Cup and that set up a clash with Chelsea in the final which Ighalo started in but was unable to score.

At United, Ighalo scored the same number of goals as Alexis Sanchez, in 2,025 fewer minutes, and showed far more passion for the jersey. That is how he will be remembered by United fans, although he left the door open for a return to England.

He added: “Of course, the Premier League is the best league in the world and if I have the opportunity to go back, why not, I will grab it with both hands.”

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.