Odion Ighalo left Manchester United in January to take on a new challenge at Al Shabab.

He has scored three goals already for his new club, and he revealed he has no regrets over snubbing two Premier League sides when his United stint ended.

He told Sky Sports there were offers from both West Ham and West Brom, but he did not want to sign for another English club after leaving United.

Ighalo scored five goals in total, but barely contributed to this season, being confined to a back-up role after Edinson Cavani’s arrival.

RB Leipzig v Manchester United: Group H - UEFA Champions League
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He said while he wished he could have had more chances, he was happy he just got to experience playing for his dream club.

Ighalo said: “After my initial loan was extended, I did not play much which was perhaps a bit unfair but as I said, I am always grateful for the opportunity. When I joined, I always knew I wouldn’t be playing every game because I was signing as a back-up striker so I knew playing time was going to be limited.

“There were certain games where I thought I would play but that’s the decision of the coach and I am not holding anything against anyone.

“I am just grateful to Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer), the fans, my team-mates, and everyone around the club for making me feel at home and I thank God that I played for my dream club and scored goals at Old Trafford.”

High hopes

For a spell in January, Ighalo’s final month, United were top of the league.

The team have since fallen behind Manchester City, but can close the gap to eight points if the team win the game in hand.

 

Ighalo says he is not giving up hope that United can still win this year’s title.

The Nigerian said: “It’s going to be tough, but I pray a miracle can happen and Manchester United can win the League.”

Ighalo also urged United do everything they can to tie down Paul Pogba to a new contract, describing his performance against Tottenham as ‘exceptional’.

Yes, perhaps it could have been better

Four of Ighalo’s goals came before the lockdown. Afterwards he only netted once.

If the league had simply carried on uninterrupted by Covid, Ighalo could potentially have scored a lot more.

He was signed as cover for Marcus Rashford when he suffered a back injury, and once football returned after lockdown in June, the England striker was fit again and Ighalo did not start a single Premier League game after that.

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Perhaps United should have given him more games and mixed it up, especially with Anthony Martial off form at the start of this season, but Ighalo did not seize his early season Carabao Cup opportunities and fell out of favour.

A dream finale against former club Watford in the FA Cup third rounddid not materialise as hoped, but overall, Ighalo achieved what he set out to do by representing his boyhood club and scoring five times.

As he points out, he has to focus on the positives, when looking at the bigger picture.

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