Odion Ighalo is reported to have selected the No 25 shirt to wear at Manchester United after confirmation of his six-month loan deal at Old Trafford.
The Nigeria striker touching down at Carrington on Monday morning; the 30-year-old having joined from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua on a temporary deal until the end of the season, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer delighted to have grabbed an extra option up front and injury to Marcus Rashford.
And with the former Watford man getting to work straight away at their training base, the forward could be in line to make his debut for the Red Devils when they tackle Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after the winter break.
Now a report on All Nigeria Soccer claims that if Ighalo appear against Frank Lampard’s side, he will do so wearing the No 25 shirt, which has been vacant since last summer when the long-serving Antonio Valencia left Old Trafford.
As per the article, Ighalo will take the number as a tribute to one of his heroes growing up, the former Ajax, Inter Milan and Arsenal frontman Nwankwo Kanu, who wore the shirt during his time in north London.
Ighalo wears the No 9 shirt for Shanghai, but that is occupied by Anthony Martial – a man Solskjaer apparently wants to sell this summer.
Ighalo donned the No 24 shirt during his previous spell in the Premier League with Watford. However, Timothy Fosu-Mensah currently wears that squad number for United. Previous wearers of that number at Old Trafford include Nick Powell, Danny Simpson, David Jones, Quinton Fortune and Jordi Cruyff.
Ighalo admits United move is a dream
Ighalo, who is a long-time United fan, was asked shortly after arriving in the North West on a flight from China, about the dream opportunity at Old Trafford.
“It’s been crazy you know,” Ighalo told Sky Sports News.
“I’m happy to be in Manchester first and this is a great opportunity for me.
“I’m grateful to God and to my agent and to the coach who’s given me the opportunity to be here, to walk out with the team and finish very well this season.
“It’s a dream come true because since I was a kid, I’ve always dreamed about Man United. But this is reality now, so I can’t say much until I get started.”
Meanwhile, Gary Neville believes that United’s last-minute loan deal for Ighalo underlines their poor planning in the transfer market. Read more here…