The former Super Eagles forward has precisely a month left on his contract at the theatre of dreams, and his older countryman has urged him to do whatever makes him happy
Ex-Nigeria international Garba Lawal has advised Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo to ignore naysayers and stay at Old Trafford if that is the decision that brings him joy and peace of mind.
Ighalo is widely expected to return to parent club China’s Shanghai Shenhua next month at the expiration of his extended loan spell in Manchester.
The 31-year-old initially joined boyhood club Manchester United on a six-month loan deal from Shanghai Shenhua in January, but it was extended until the end of January 2021.
Ighalo enjoyed a fairy tale start to life at Old Trafford, netting five goals in 19 appearances in all competitions in the second phase of the 2019-20 season.
The Nigerian forward has, however, endured fewer playing time this term, featuring in just four games for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, all of which came as a substitute.
Uruguayan star Edison Cavani’s arrival has not helped matters with the former PSG striker the Norwegian manager’s preferred option since joining the Red Devils.
Ighalo, the first-ever Nigerian to play and score for Man United’s first team, is not perturbed by the development, though, even as he insists that he is living a dream just by representing the English giants.
And with pressure on the former Watford ace to quit United and go back to where he works for the money he earns, ex-Nigerian international Lawal has charged him to follow his heart in making any decision regarding his future.
“It depends on the player if he is happy to stay there like that because Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world and being there is something,” Lawal told Goal.
“What I want to tell Ighalo at his age is that if he is happy to stay at Manchester, he should stay. He is not young anymore, he knows better than us, and he knows what he wants, so I believe. I don’t think he wants to be playing every 90 minutes at his age, it is not possible.”
Ighalo has not played football since September when the Red Devils defeated Brighton in a League Cup fixture.
The former Super Eagles striker has clocked just nine minutes of football in the Premier League so far this season.