Odion Ighalo has bid an emotional farewell to Manchester United as he prepares to return to parent club Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese Super League.
Ighalo joined United on an initial six-month loan in January 2020, fulfilling his lifelong dream of playing for his childhood club. The Red Devils had moved for the former Watford man in the dying embers of the transfer window following a serious back injury from Marcus Rashford.
After impressing in 19 appearances and scoring five goals, the Red Devils have opted to extend their stint this summer. However, the 31-year-old has seen his playing time severely restricted this season following the arrival of Edinson Cavani on a free transfer, with just 157 minutes in all competitions.
The Nigerian’s 12-month deal at Old Trafford will expire at the end of the month and the player has written a heartfelt farewell message to the club he loves.
Speaking to Instagram, he wrote: “It’s so hard to see this dream come to an end. But I give God the glory for helping me achieve this lifelong dream of putting on a Manchester United shirt as a player and representing this great club, it was indeed an honor that I will cherish forever and for which I will be grateful.
“To the manager I say thank you for trusting and believing in me when many didn’t, to my amazing teammates I will miss you, it was always fun and I look forward to me. train and spend time with all of you.
“And I pray that we win the League Cup and the FA this year. To the best fans in the world (Manchester United fans) we have missed you, but we can hear your voices cheering us on from afar, we can’t wait to have you all back on the stands.
“I still am and will remain a MANCHESTER UNITED FAN forever. Once a red, always a red. Thank you Manchester United and God bless you. ”