Ighalo with Watford in 2014
|Full name||Odion Jude Ighalo|
|Date of birth||16 June 1989|
|Place of birth||Lagos, Nigeria|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|2009–2010||→ Granada (loan)||28||(17)|
|2010||→ Cesena (loan)||3||(0)|
|2011–2014||→ Granada (loan)||99||(18)|
|2014||→ Watford (loan)||8||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13:55, 2 May 2015 (UTC).
Early years / Lyn
Born in Lagos, Ighalo played in his country with Prime F.C. and Julius Berger FC, where he was discovered by FIFA agent Marcelo Houseman who recommended him to Atta Aneke, being subsequently taken on trial by Norway's Lyn Fotball.
He made his Tippeligaen debut on 16 September 2007 at the age of just 18, scoring in a 2–0 home win against Viking FK. He netted six goals in 13 games in his second year to help his team to the seventh position, and subsequently arose interest from other clubs in the country, with SK Brann reporting Lyn to the Football Association of Norway for unfairness in the negotiation process.
Udinese / Granada
On 30 July 2008 Ighalo signed for Udinese Calcio in Italy, moving alongside teammate Jo Inge Berget and agreeing to a five-year contract. He appeared rarely in Serie A in his debut season, scoring against Cagliari Calcio in a 6–2 home routing – four of his five league appearances came as a late substitute.
Ighalo was loaned to Granada CF in the 2009 summer, as part of the partnership agreement between Udinese and the Spaniards. He scored 17 times in his first year (playoffs included) and five in the second, as both seasons ended in promotion; this was interspersed with a brief loan stint back in Italy with A.C. Cesena.
Ighalo continued playing with Granada in the following years, still owned by the Udine side. He played his first La Liga match on 27 August 2011, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in a 0–1 home loss to Real Betis.
Ighalo joined Watford on a season-long loan deal from Udinese, on 29 July 2014. He made his debut for the English in the first round of the Football League Cup at Stevenage on 12 August, and scored his first goal against Brentford on 30 September by tucking the ball home after his initial penalty was saved by David Button.
On 24 October 2014 Watford terminated Ighalo's loan, and re-signed him on a permanent deal the same day after Udinese released him from his contract. Exactly three months later, he scored four second half goals and was voted Man of the match in a 7–2 home routing of Blackpool, who lead 0–2 at half time; he took his league tally to 14 on 10 February 2015, after netting a brace to help his team come from behind at Brentford to win it 2–1 – his second came through an injury time header.
On 24 March 2015, after a series of solid performances for Watford, newly appointed Nigeria coach Daniel Amokachi selected Ighalo for the first time, and the latter stated: I feel good because it is my dream to play for my country. He gained his first cap two days later, starting in a 0–1 friendly home loss to Uganda. He scored his first goal for Nigeria on June 13 2015 coming on as a sub in the Cup of Nations qualifier against Chad.
|1.||13 June 2015||Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, Nigeria||Chad||
||2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
- As of 2 May 2015
|Prime||2005||Nigeria National League||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||0|
|Julius Berger||2006||Nigeria Premier League||10||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||10||5|
|Granada (loan)||2009–10||Segunda División B||28||17||0||0||0||0||0||0||28||17|
|Cesena (loan)||2010–11||Serie A||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||4||0|
|Granada (loan)||2010–11||Segunda División||25||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||25||5|
- "Lyn, Brann og Odion Ighalo" (in Norwegian). FC Lyn. 30 July 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2010.[dead link]
- "Blir trist å forlate Lyn" (in Norwegian). FC Lyn. 30 July 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2010.[dead link]
- "Udinese-Cagliari 6–2: Quagliarella saluta nella festa del goal" [Udinese-Cagliari 6–2: Quagliarella salutes in goal party] (in Italian). Goal.com. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Apuesta de futuro por el Granada CF" [Granada CF bets on future] (in Spanish). Granada CF. 10 July 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2009.[dead link]
- "Pistoletazo de salida al Granada C.F. 2009/2010" [Starting gun to Granada C.F. 2009/2010] (in Spanish). Granada CF. 23 July 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.[dead link]
- "Odion Ighalo, nuevo jugador del Granada C.F." [Odion Ighalo, new Granada C.F. player] (in Spanish). Granada CF. 22 August 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2009.[dead link]
- "El Granada, a medio palmo del ascenso" [Granada, inches away from promotion] (in Spanish). Ideal. 16 May 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Granada, en Primera 35 años después" [Granada, in Primera 35 years after] (in Spanish). Marca. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Ighalo, el goleador oportuno" [Ighalo, the timely scorer] (in Spanish). El País. 19 June 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Ufficiale: Ighalo al Cesena" [Official: Ighalo to Cesena] (in Italian). Tutto Mercato Web. 16 July 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Ighalo vuelve cedido a Granada" [Ighalo returns to Granada on loan] (in Spanish). Marca. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Ighalo jugará en el Granada su quinta campaña consecutiva cedido por Udinense [sic]" [Ighalo to play his fifth consecutive campaign with Granada loaned by Udinense] (in Spanish). Ideal. 24 August 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Rubén Castro hace justicia" [Rubén Castro does justice] (in Spanish). El País. 28 August 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Udinese striker Odion Ighalo agrees one-year loan switch to Watford". Watford Observer. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Official: Ighalo signs permanent deal". Watford F.C. 24 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- "Watford 7–2 Blackpool". BBC Sport. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- "Brentford 1–2 Blackpool". BBC Sport. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
- "Nigeria: Watford striker, Ighalo, happy to play for Super Eagles". All Africa. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- "Uganda Cranes edge Nigeria Super Eagles in international build up". Kawowo. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- "O. Ighalo". Soccerway. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- "Odion Ighalo". National Football Teams. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- BDFutbol profile
- Futbolme profile (Spanish)
- Odion Ighalo career statistics at Soccerbase
- Odion Ighalo at National-Football-Teams.com
- Odion Ighalo – FIFA competition record
- Lyn official profile (Norwegian)