‘A New Chapter:’ Nigerian Star Ighalo Joins Saudi Club Al Shabab

Nigerian forward, Odion Ighalo on Thursday joined Saudi Arabia club, Al Shabab on a permanent deal after his one-year loan spell with English giants, Manchester United. 

“New chapter.. we move @alshababsaudifc,” the former Watford star wrote on Instagram alongside a video of the Saudi side’s home ground after he signed a two and half-year contract with the Riyadh-based club side.
Ighalo moved to the King Fahd Stadium outfit from Chinese Super League team, Shanghai Shenhua after passing his medical.

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) highest goalscorer’s representative had earlier confirmed that Ighalo turned down a host of clubs to join the six-time Saudi champions.

“Despite interest from other clubs, this is a good move for the player because Al Shabab showed ambition and commitment in their efforts to sign him,” Ighalo’s representative told BBC Sport Africa hours before the move was made official.

The 31-year-old had joined his boyhood club, Manchester United on the last day of the 2020 January transfer window for an initial six-month loan deal which he described as a dream move. He was, however, handed another six-month contract by the Old Trafford side.

Ighalo scored five goals in 23 games in all competitions for the Red Devils and had in his farewell message thanked United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for believing in him even as he lauded his teammates for making his stay exciting and full of fun.

Ighalo won the 2019 Chinese FA Cup with Shanghai Shenhua. He retired from international football in July 2019 having netted 16 goals in 35 games for Nigeria and was part of the squad that won a bronze medal during the AFCON which also held the same year in Egypt.

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