The Nigerian has presented an insight into his upbringing as a Red Devils fan whilst naming Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke as his idols.
Odion Ighalo claims he “never imagined” that his childhood dream of playing for Manchester United would ever come true, notwithstanding the reality he has followed the club religiously in the course of his professional career.
United snapped Ighalo up on a six-month loan deal from Shanghai Shenhua on deadline day in January, in a move which raised extra than a few eyebrows throughout English football.
The Nigerian had spent the final three years of his profession in China , with his only previous experience of the Premier League coming at Watford between 2014 and 2017.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer justified his choice to bring in the 30-year-old by talking up his characteristics as a goal man, with United previously lacking natural centre-forward options.
With Marcus Rashford out injured, Ighalo has supplied invaluable cover for Anthony Martial through the middle, netting 4 goals in his first three starts for the club.
The ex-Watford star has earned lots of praise for his latest performances, and Solskjaer has hinted that United should strive to make his loan move permanent if he continues to galvanize at Old Trafford.
Ighalo has openly admitted to being a lifelong Red Devils supporter, however he never truely believed his dreams of turning out for the club would ever come to fruition.
“When you say these sorts of things (about playing for United when he was a child), people say ‘are you crazy?’ due to the fact back then you don’t even know what the future holds,” Ighalo told beIN Sports.
“First you just choose to go outdoor the country to start playing – even for a small team, not even to speak of going to United.
“But my support for the team was great. I tried to see every game of United each weekend if possible. I still remember those memories.
“I never imagined it was going to turn out this way. Even when I played in the Premier League for Watford, I in no way thought this was going to happen.”
When asked who he looked up to as a teenager when watching United enjoy the most successful length in their history, Ighalo responded: “I watched Andy Cole growing up.
“Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, they have been two strikers at United who used to score goals.
“They were very robust and scored a lot of goals.”
Ighalo’s latest strike for United came in a 5-0 demolition of LASK in a Europa League last-16 first-leg tie in Austria last week, which was played at the back of closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak.
All European competitions have since been suspended, with UEFA officers set to meet on Tuesday to talk about plans for the the rest of the 2019-20 campaign.