Ex-Man Utd winger and full-back Antonio Valencia spoke of his deep-rooted connection with the number 25 after new striker Odion Ighalo became the first player to take the number since the Ecuadorian left Old Trafford.
The 34-year-old returned to his native country in the summer, leaving the number 25 vacant until Nigerian Ighalo took the number after his deadline day arrival.
The ex-Watford man was the star attraction on a relatively subdued final day of the January window, with his arrival expected to ease the burden on Anthony Martial to provide the goals in Marcus Rashford’s injury-enforced absence.
Taking to Twitter to give his blessing to his former Utd squad number being re-used, Valencia said: “I always saw the number 25 as an opportunity to work beyond my dreams. It has been my inspiration and became my amulet. I wish you all the success now with this shirt brother!”
Ighalo replied to the tweet: “Thanks brother,” alongside a heart and a praying emoji.
I always saw the number 25 as an opportunity to work beyond my dreams. It has been my inspiration and became my amulet. I wish you all the success now with this shirt brother! pic.twitter.com/B8f7iE32QN
— Antonio Valencia (@anto_v25) February 5, 2020
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Ighalo revealed what it meant to sign for Man Utd after touching down in the UK.
“It’s been crazy you know,” Ighalo told Sky Sports News, after the deal was confirmed. “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.”