- Odion Ighalo will have another chance to play against former club Watford this weekend
- The Hornets travel to Old Trafford for their FA Cup third-round encounter
- The 31-year-old says it will be his pleasure to face his former teammates for the second time
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Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo is looking forward to facing his former teammates when Manchester United host Watford in the third round of their FA Cup fixture this weekend.
Though his current deal with the Red Devils expires at the end of this month, the 31-year-old is hoping to get playing time against the Hornets for the second time since he left them in 2017.
The former Super Eagles attacker admits that it felt emotional facing them last season but has insisted that it will always be mixed feelings for him against the Vicarage Road Stadium side.
During his reign at the club, he scored 39 goals in 100 appearances but then left for China close to your years ago. Ighalo told Watford's official website ahead of the cup game.
“It’s always exciting and hopefully it will be the second time I’ve played against Watford since I left. I can’t wait to see the lads I had such a good time with.
“It’s mixed feelings because this is the club you’ve played for, this is the club you did well for before you left and all of that. You’re excited to play against them but at the same time you have those mixed feelings.
“You just have to be yourself and do your job. I’m always happy playing against them, I’m going to do my job, but I still have so much respect for Watford.”
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations golden boot winner admitted that the two-and-a-half years at Watford gave him the opportunity to play for Man United. He continued:
“I had a wonderful time in Watford, I was happy, and it was a good club for me. We had good moments together. Especially striking with Troy Deeney was a pleasure because he’s a good guy and a good player. Sometimes me and Troy message on Instagram, we keep in touch once in a while.
“Me playing for Manchester United today, they saw what I did with Watford in the Premier League, that’s why I have the opportunity to be here today, so my story would not be complete in my career, my life, without mentioning Watford.”
Ighalo will be facing international teammate William Troost-Ekong alongside some familiar faces before and after the game.
“Ekong is a nice guy, I know him from the national team, and he played in Udinese too, like I played in Udinese.
“Before he came to Watford, he sent me messages saying Gino wanted him to come to Watford. Gino told him how I came from Granada to help the team gain promotion to the Premier League and wants him to do the same thing.
“I told him he had to go to Watford, that Watford is one of the best family clubs. I played there for two-and-a-half years and had an amazing time, they took care of me and had no problems. He said okay and that he would think about it.
“I’m happy for him and happy he’s doing well, that’s the most important thing. I hope Watford keep doing well and gain promotion to the Premier League because that’s where they belong.”
Ighalo has made just four appearances across all competitions for United this campaign with no goal to his credit and he will be hoping to make a statement if he gets playing time vs Watford.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo has insisted that he has given his best every time he has the opportunity to play for Manchester United.
The 31-year-old joined the Red Devils from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua in January 2020 but his temporary stay at Old Trafford will come to an end at the end of next month.
He has found the back of the net five times and also assisted one other goal in 23 appearances across competitions.
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