Odion Ighalo: How Super Eagles Striker’s Extra Effort Turned the Tide at Manchester United, Video

Odion Ighalo: How Super Eagles Striker’s Extra Effort Turned the Tide at Manchester United, Video

Robert Abong'o
May 15, 2024 at 4:14 AM
In this article:
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O. Ighalo
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Manchester United
  • Odion Ighalo joined Manchester United club on loan from Shanghai Shenhua in January 2020
  • The move was a significant upgrade in football standards as compared to the Chinese League
  • He has disclosed what he sacrificed to catch up with the Red Devils' training regime intensity

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Nigerian striker, Odion Ighalo, has shed light on the unique steps he took to adapt to the rigours of Manchester United's training regime.

The Nigerian striker joined the club on loan from Shanghai Shenhua in January 2020 during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reign.

A lifelong Man United fan, the Super Eagles star faced a significant challenge in adjusting to the increased intensity and pace of the English top-flight.

Manchester United's Odion Ighalo  in action during the Carabao Cup fourth-round match vs Brighton and Hove Albion at theAmex Stadium on September 30, 2020, in Brighton, England. Photo: Matthew Peters.
Odion Ighalo signed for Manchester United club on loan from Chinese club, Shanghai Shenhua, in January 2020. Photo: Matthew Peters.
Source: Getty Images

In a candid interview, Ighalo revealed the extra work he had to put in to catch up with his new teammates, having spent the previous three years plying his trade in the Chinese Super League.

To bridge the gap, he took matters into his own hands, engaging in thorough personal training sessions before joining the senior squad in Spain, where they had pitched camp.

"I started doing my own personal training to catch up even though my league was on in China. I had to step up my game. I started working hard, I was working with one trainer. Sometimes, maybe after morning training in the evening, I would go there to do some work to be able to catch up," he explained, as quoted by Soccernet.

The 34-year-old forward's dedication and unwavering commitment paid off, as he integrated seamlessly into the squad.

According to ESPN, during his six-month loan spell, he made only 20 appearances, scoring five goals and providing one assist.

Ighalo scores fastest hat trick in Saudi

Sports Brief reported that Ighalo needed only 35 minutes to score the fastest hat-trick in the Saudi Pro League.

The former Watford forward was in red-hot form as Al Wehda defeated Damac when the league resumed after the international break.

He also became the fifth player to score a hat-trick in the league this season, joining Cristiano Ronaldo of Al Nassr, Al Ahli's Roberto Firmino, Malcom and Aleksandr Mitrovic of Al Hilal.

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Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team