The Man United forward has confessed that he played his part in seeing a former international teammate switch to the Vicarage Road in the summer
On-loan Shanghai Shenhua striker Odion Ighalo says Nigerian defender William Troost-Ekong sought his opinion before moving to Watford.
He admits to encouraging the Super Eagles vice-captain to team up with the Hornets.
Troost-Ekong ended a two-year spell at Italian Serie A side Udinese in September and signed the dotted lines on a five-year deal with Watford.
It was a surprising move for the Super Eagles star to move from a top European league like the Italian Serie A to the Skybet Championship.
But it is an open secret that the Pozzo family owns both Udinese and Watford. And they had reportedly sent Troost-Ekong to England to help the latter regain their top-flight status following their relegation from the Premier League.
Ekong had his doubts about the deal, though, and asked Ighalo – who spent two-and-a-half years at Watford – for his views.
The ex-Super Eagles striker talked up the English club as one of the ‘best family clubs’ and encouraged Ekong to sign up.
“Ekong is a nice guy, I know him from the national team, and he played in Udinese too, like I played in Udinese,” Ighalo told Watford’s official website.
“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, 31, scored 39 goals in 100 appearances for Watford before leaving the club for the Chinese Super League.
Both Ighalo and Troost-Ekong were prominent members of the Nigerian squad that earned a bronze medal at the 2019 African Cup of Nations tournament hosted by Egypt.