Accolades for Nigeria international after making club history
Odion Ighalo has been receiving plaudits, not least from the Watford manager Qique Sanchez Flores, for the striker’s performance in Saturday’s English Premier League game at home to West Ham United.
Ighalo scored both goals in the win over West Ham to give his side successive league victories and in doing so set a new landmark at the club.
The 26-year-old has now scored seven goals this season, which makes him the highest Hornets goalscorer in Barclays Premier League history, overtaking Heidar Helguson and Hameur Bouazza who both scored six goals.
The Nigeria international scored 20 goals in 38 Championship appearances last season to help Watford gain promotion to the Premier League, before rejecting a big-money move to China.
“Ighalo took a very important decision to stay at Watford. It was a brilliant idea,” said Flores. “He is a wonderful man who stayed here because his future here at Watford is really big. He is already an important player for us.”
Ighalo, however, played down his role and instead chose to praise his teammates.
“I’m happy about my goals but I’m most pleased about the team performance. We played very well and we deserved the win and the three points,” he told the Watford’s official website.
“We’ve been performing great this season and we’ve been working hard together. The team have been pushing. We run for each other, we fight for each other, and it’s been great.”
Ighalo, who signed a five-year contract last month, has been one of the reasons for Watford’s impressive start to the Premier League campaign – with the Hornets now in ninth place in the table.
With seven goals and two assists, Ighalo has now been involved in each of Watford’s last nine EPL goals.
As well as the double against West Ham, he scored two goals in the 2-1 victory over Newcastle United in September and he is now the first Watford player to score two braces in the EPL.
Ighalo is among the players invited by the Nigeria coach, Sunday Oliseh, for this month’s 2018 World Cup qualifying fixture against Swaziland.
– Oladipo Okubanjo