Fulfilling the dream of playing in the English Premier League is a massive accomplishment for Odion Ighalo, but the Watford striker would not be satisfied until he’s able to leave an indelible mark in what is widely acknowledged as the world’s most competitive domestic football league.
Having scored 20 goals to help Watford gain promotion from the English Championship to the EPL at the end of last season, Ighalo continued where he left off by contributing one of the two goals that earned his club a deserved 2-2 draw away to Everton in one of last weekend’s opening games of the new EPL season.
Ighalo’s 83rd-minute-strike his put his side 2-1 up at Goodison Park and although Arouna Kone’s equaliser prevented it from being the wining goal, the 25-year-old is delighted with his first taste of life in the Premier League. “When I was in Nigeria I used to watch the Premier League and hope one day I would play there,” the Nigeria international told the BBC. “Even though I started the match on the substitutes’ bench I was so happy, but when I came on and scored a goal in a game like that against a good side it was such a joy.
“I have played and scored in the Italian league and the Spanish league. It’s great that I’ve now done it in England. “As a striker, when you are scoring you gain more confidence.
I will keep my head up and keep learning every day so I can do the best for myself and for the team.” Still savouring the joy of scoring on his debut Premier League game, Ighalo says he will get even better. “Scoring my first Premier League goal was one of the moments I had waited for all my life,” said the 25-year-old.
“I can do even better as long as I keep working hard, and I think my goal is the first of many to come.” The opening-day point has also boosted Ighalo’s confidence that the Hornets can avoid relegation this season. “It is not going to be easy. We need to keep pushing game by game. But I think we have a team that can stay up,” he said. “We have to focus on each game, fight hard and get as many points as we can and then we can survive the drop.”