Odion Ighalo
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Odion Ighalo: Set to be the Highest paid African Footballer in History

Odion Ighalo is in the news today for the right reasons. His steady rise to stardom can only be likened to a fairy tale. He has always believed in the saying: “Favor over labor”. Popularly called the favored man, the 30-year-old former Julius Berger FC of Nigeria striker have seen his stock rise in the international market in the last few months.

News coming in say the Lagos born striker is set to become the highest-paid African footballer in history. Presently on a 6 months loan from his Chinese Super League club- Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, his plan loan extension by Manchester United has apparently been rejected.

He is been offered a whooping £400,000 per week contract by his Chinese club. This is coming on the heels of his amazing performance for Manchester United before the break caused by coronavirus pandemic. He made a total of 8  appearances and scored  4 goals.

He currently earns £130,000 at Manchester United and would no doubt be the cynosure of all eyes when he goes back to his parent club when the Chinese Super League restarts. An amazing player who has blossomed in the twilight of his career. Odion Ighalo shared his sentiment while joining Manchester United on the 1st of February this year: “I never thought this was going to happen but dreams do come through”.

Indeed, the man who was the highest goal scorer at the last African Nations Cup (AFCON) 2019 held in Egypt with 5 goals, has always believed in his dreams. He has had a stint with Lyn Oslo of Norway, Udinese of Italy and Granada of Spain. In the 2014/2015 football season Watford FC then plying their trade in the English Championship signed Odion Ighalo and he led them in their Promotion to the English Premier League. It was at Watford he flourished and carved a name for himself as he emerged the clubs one of the highest goal scorers for the club. He made 82 appearances and scored an amazing 33 goals.

His performance attracted a whole lot of interest in the transfer market and Chinese Super League club- Changchun Yatai coughed out a massive £20 million for the striker in 2017. He spent a season and then moved over to Shangai Greenland Shenhua, from where he made a loan move to Manchester United in February this year after the injury to Manchester United’s main striker Marcus Rashford.

Odion Ighalo called it quit with international footballer last year, soon after the AFCON. He exited the tournament as the highest goal scorer, not without an injury though, as he got injured in Nigeria’s 2-1 loss to eventual tournament winners Algeria. If figures been peddled is true Odion Ighalo will surpass the likes of Samuel Eto Fils, Didier Drogba, John Obi Mikel, Yaya Toure, Emmanuel Seyi Adebayor, Mohammed Salah, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Sadio Mane as the highest-paid African footballer of all time.

These are indeed good times for the man who was never given any chance of returning to the English Premier League. He has had some amazing dreams come through. In the coming days, he may continue his fairy tale rise to stardom.

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