Odion Ighalo

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Odion Ighalo
Odion Ighalo 20140802.jpg
Ighalo with Watford in 2014
Personal information
Full name Odion Jude Ighalo
Date of birth (1989-06-16) 16 June 1989 (age 26)
Place of birth Lagos, Nigeria
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Watford
Number 24
Youth career
2000–2005 Prime
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2006 Prime 5 (0)
2006–2007 Julius Berger 10 (5)
2007–2008 Lyn 20 (9)
2008–2014 Udinese 6 (1)
2009–2010 Granada (loan) 28 (17)
2010 Cesena (loan) 3 (0)
2011–2014 Granada (loan) 99 (18)
2014 Watford (loan) 8 (3)
2014– Watford 30 (18)
National team
2009 Nigeria U20 3 (0)
2015– Nigeria 3 (1)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:55, 23 August 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13 June 2015

Odion Jude Ighalo (born 16 June 1989) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays for English club Watford and the Nigeria national team as a striker.

Club career[edit]

Early years / Lyn[edit]

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.[1]

Udinese / Granada[edit]

On 30 July 2008 Ighalo signed for Udinese Calcio in Italy, moving alongside teammate Jo Inge Berget and agreeing to a five-year contract.[2] He appeared rarely in Serie A in his debut season, scoring against Cagliari Calcio in a 6–2 home routing –[3] 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.[4][5][6] He scored 17 times in his first year (playoffs included)[7] and five in the second, as both seasons ended in promotion;[8][9] this was interspersed with a brief loan stint back in Italy with A.C. Cesena.[10]

Ighalo continued playing with Granada in the following years, still owned by the Udine side.[11][12] 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.[13]

Watford[edit]

Ighalo joined Watford on a season-long loan deal from Udinese, on 29 July 2014.[14] 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.[15] 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 led 0–2 at half time;[16] 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.[17]

Ighalo scored in his Premier League debut on 8 August 2015, replacing José Manuel Jurado 16 minutes from time and putting the visitors ahead 2–1 in an eventual 2–2 draw away against Everton for the season opener.[18]

International career[edit]

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".[19] He gained his first cap two days later, starting in a 0–1 friendly home loss to Uganda.[20]

Club statistics[edit]

As of 23 August 2015[21]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Prime 2005[22] Nigeria National League 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Julius Berger 2006[22] Nigeria Premier League 10 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 5
Lyn 2007[22] Tippeligaen 7 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 3
2008[22] Tippeligaen 13 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 6
Udinese 2008–09[22] Serie A 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 1
Granada (loan) 2009–10[22] Segunda División B 28 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 28 17
Cesena (loan) 2010–11[21] Serie A 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Granada (loan) 2010–11[21] Segunda División 25 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 25 5
2011–12[21] La Liga 30 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 31 6
2012–13[21] La Liga 28 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 30 5
2013–14[21] La Liga 16 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 18 4
Watford 2014–15[21] Championship 35 20 1 0 2 0 0 0 38 20
Watford 2015–16[21] Premier League 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1
Career total 209 70 7 3 2 0 0 0 219 73

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lyn, Brann og Odion Ighalo" (in Norwegian). FC Lyn. 30 July 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2010. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Blir trist å forlate Lyn" (in Norwegian). FC Lyn. 30 July 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2010. [dead link]
  3. ^ "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. 
  4. ^ "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]
  5. ^ "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]
  6. ^ "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]
  7. ^ "El Granada, a medio palmo del ascenso" [Granada, inches away from promotion] (in Spanish). Ideal. 16 May 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Granada, en Primera 35 años después" [Granada, in Primera 35 years after] (in Spanish). Marca. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Ighalo, el goleador oportuno" [Ighalo, the timely scorer] (in Spanish). El País. 19 June 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Ufficiale: Ighalo al Cesena" [Official: Ighalo to Cesena] (in Italian). Tutto Mercato Web. 16 July 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Ighalo vuelve cedido a Granada" [Ighalo returns to Granada on loan] (in Spanish). Marca. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "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. 
  13. ^ "Rubén Castro hace justicia" [Rubén Castro does justice] (in Spanish). El País. 28 August 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "Udinese striker Odion Ighalo agrees one-year loan switch to Watford". Watford Observer. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "Official: Ighalo signs permanent deal". Watford F.C. 24 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Watford 7–2 Blackpool". BBC Sport. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  17. ^ "Brentford 1–2 Blackpool". BBC Sport. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  18. ^ "Watford hold Everton to point on return to Premier League". ESPN FC. 8 August 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  19. ^ "Nigeria: Watford striker, Ighalo, happy to play for Super Eagles". All Africa. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  20. ^ "Uganda Cranes edge Nigeria Super Eagles in international build up". Kawowo. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h "O. Ighalo". Soccerway. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f "Odion Ighalo". National Football Teams. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 

External links[edit]