Odion Ighalo: From the slums of Ajegunle to Man United

Odion Ighalo: From the slums of Ajegunle to Man United

- Odion Ighalo has got the attention of the world after making a winter move to Premier League side Man United

- The 31-year-old has traveled across Europe to play for top sides but playing for United is the defining moment in his career

- Ighalo grew up in the slumps of Ajegunle before making a name for making his way ou tof the country to Europe

Odion Ighalo may have completed a sensational January move to Man United, but beyond the transfer's headlines, Ighalo's switch to Old Trafford epitomises hard work, perseverance and simply keeping the dream alive.

Sitting more than 35 points behind league leaders and rivals, Liverpool, it was no secret Man United were set for one of their busiest January transfer window in recent years.

And in a move aimed at adding more depth to their squad, the club ushered in three new signings in winter, including one of the most unlikeliest in Odion Ighalo.

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Marcus Rashford's back injury is understood to have forced United to enter the market in search of a short-term replacement, with the dire situation seeing PSG forward Edinson Cavani emerge the perfect candidate to fill the void.

However, the deal never saw the light of day - with United instead landing Ighalo on loan from China in a deadline transfer deal that took many by surprise.

A section of fans, including former United players have openly mocked the transfer claiming it goes to show how far the club has fallen.

But born 30 years ago in Ajegunle, an underprivileged neighbourhood of Nigeria's Lagos state, Ighalo can only be proud of the strides he has made in his football career.

“I was born in a ghetto in ajegunle with nothing. I work hard to be where I’m today and with the Grace of God. You can do it too don’t give up. Impossible is nothing,” Ighalo captioned a throwback photonlate in 2019 on Twitter.

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The star forward started his career at Prime, before FIFA agent, Marcelo Houseman, discovered him.

He was subsequently taken for trials in Norway where he impressed, earning a move to Lyn Oslo in 2007.

It was at the Norwegian club where he spark to prominence as Serie A giants, Udinese, eventually came calling.

The father of three would later join Granada where he is widely acclaimed as a club legend, before switching to England with Watford who he helped to promotion to the Premier League in the 2014/15 campaign.

In January 2017, Ighalo moved to Chinese side Changchun Yatai for a reported £20million before moving onto Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.

Two years later, he returned to the Premier League, joining Manchester United on loan until the end of the 2019–20 season.

Internationally, Ighalo made his debut for Nigeria in 2015, representing the nation at the 2018 World Cup in Egypt where he emerged the competition's the highest goalscorer in and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign where he emerged the competition's top scorer.

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He will now be looking to disprove his critics and doubters when he finally pulls on the red shirt to make his bow for the Old Trafford dwellers.

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Leon Balogun joined Championship side Wigan Athletic on loan after spending two frustrating seasons with Premier League side Brighton.

The Super Eagles defender has been struggling for game time since his summer move from Bundesliga side Mainz in 2018.

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Source: Legit Nigeria

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