The former Super Eagles striker has shed some lights on the details behind his unpopular move to the Chinese Super League about three years ago.
Odion Ighalo has confessed that financial gains were the primary reason he left Premier League side, Watford, on 31 January 2017. The former Granada striker moved to Changchun Yatai for a reported fee of £20 million.
Ighalo joined the Hornets in 2014 and quickly became a cult hero at Vicarage Road after his goals helped Watford secure Premier League promotion the following year.
But after scoring 33 league goals in his first 67 games for Watford, Ighalo did not find the net in any of his last 15 games for the club, and his departure became unavoidable.
Moving to Asia, however, was a surprise with a couple of Premier League clubs interested in the services of the big forward. But Ighalo has now revealed that the megabucks on offer in China helped to swing his decision.
“There’s lot of reasons I went there [China]. I wasn’t playing much in Watford and I did not want to keep sitting on the bench,” he said in quotes obtained from the Watford Observer.
“Watford fans don’t know it but I had an offer from Crystal Palace on the table and West Bromwich, but the club was looking for big money, and that’s why I accepted Changchun Yatai at the time.
“So, instead of me sitting down there and not playing I had to move. When the opportunity came for me I accepted it because China could pay what Watford wanted.
“But this is past tense now. I am happy and Watford are happy because they made a lot of money with me. And they are still my team in the Premier League.
“I don’t know about other players. Maybe they go there for different ambitions. Me? Yes, I went there for the money I am honest but I don’t know why other players go there.”
Ighalo has not lost his scoring touch after finding the back of the net 10 times in 17 league games for Shanghai Greenland Shenhua last season.