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 boyhood club. The Red Devils had moved for the former Watford man in the dying embers of the transfer window following a serious back injury to Marcus Rashford.
After impressing in 19 appearances and scoring five goals, the Red Devils opted to extend his stay in the summer. However, the 31-year-old has seen his game time severely restricted this season after the arrival of Edinson Cavani on a free transfer, featuring for just 157 minutes in all competitions.
The Nigerian’s 12-month deal at Old Trafford is set to expire at the end of the month, and the player has penned a heartfelt goodbye message to the club he loves.
Taking 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 fulfil this lifelong dream of putting on a Manchester United shirt as a player and represent this great club, it was indeed an honour I will forever cherish and be grateful for.
“To the manager I say thank you for trusting and believing in me when many did not , to my amazing teammates I will miss you guys, it was always fun and a time I look forward to training and spending time with all of you.
“And I pray we win the LEAGUE and FA cup this year. To the best fans in the world (the Manchester United fans) we have missed you, but we hear your voices cheering us on from afar, we can’t wait to have you all back on the stands.
“I’m still and would remain a MANCHESTER UNITED FAN forever. Once a Red, always a Red. Thank you Manchester United and God bless.”