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)||26||(16)|
|2010–2011||→ Cesena (loan)||3||(0)|
|2011–2014||→ Granada (loan)||95||(17)|
|2014||→ Watford (loan)||8||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:00, 16 May 2016 (UTC).
After starting his career at Prime and Julius Berger, he moved to Norway's Lyn in 2007. A year later he was signed by Udinese, spending most of his tenure loaned out, notably at Granada, before signing for Watford in 2014.
Ighalo made his international debut for Nigeria in 2015.
Early years / Lyn
Born in Lagos and raised in Edo, and 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 scored 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 club 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 led 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.
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. He netted twice in a 2–0 home win over West Ham United on 31 October, reaching seven goals for the season and becoming the highest club scorer in the competition after just 11 matches.
On 20 December 2015, Ighalo scored in a Watford victory for the fourth consecutive time, netting a brace in a 3–0 win over Liverpool. His five-goal haul earned him December's Premier League Player of the Month, while his manager Quique Sánchez Flores won the equivalent award.
Ighalo broke a 599-minute personal scoring drought on 13 March 2016, with a goal in a 2–1 win at holders Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, putting the Hornets into the last four for the first time in nine years.
On 24 March 2015, after a series of strong performances for Watford, newly appointed Nigeria interim 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.
- As of 31 May 2016 (Nigeria score listed first, score column indicates score after each Ighalo goal)
|1||13 June 2015||Ahmadu Bello, Kaduna, Nigeria||3||Chad||2–0||2–0||2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
|2||11 October 2015||Edmond Machtens, Brussels, Belgium||5||Cameroon||3–0||3–0||Friendly|
|3||31 May 2016||Josy Barthel, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg||11||Luxembourg||3–1||3–1||Friendly|
Ighalo is known to be a devout Christian.He grew up in salami street Ajegunle,Lagos,Nigeria.who also often dedicates part of his wages for Nigerian charitable organisations to help impoverished children, schools and widows below the poverty line.
- As of 15 May 2016
|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||26||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||26||16|
|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|
- "Watford FC player profiles: Odion Ighalo". Watford F.C. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
- "Odion Ighalo: Journey and rise to a Barclays Premier League star". Wolexis. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
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- "Blir trist å forlate Lyn" (in Norwegian). FC Lyn. 30 July 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2010.[dead link]
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- "Granada, en Primera 35 años después" [Granada, in Primera 35 years after] (in Spanish). Marca. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
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- "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.
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- "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.
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- "Watford 3 Liverpool 0: Ighalo double stuns Klopp's visitors". Yahoo! Sports. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
- McVitie, Peter (15 January 2016). "Watford's Ighalo and Flores win Premier League awards". Goal.com. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
- Jennings, Patrick (13 March 2016). "Arsenal 1–2 Watford". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- "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.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Siasia picks Mikel, Ighalo, Akpeyi for Olympics; Iwobi doubtful". Complete Sports. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "O. Ighalo – Matches". Soccerway. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- Walters, Mike (16 October 2015). "Watford's Odion Ighalo discusses his heart of Gold and hopes of reuniting with Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
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