Sanchez Flores lured me to Shanghai Shenhua – Odion Ighalo

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Odion Ighalo
Odion Ighalo
The appeal to work under his former coach at Watford was enough for Shenhua’s new no. 9 to make a switch

Shanghai Shenhua new signing Odion Ighalo has described the chance to be coached again by Quique Sanchez Flores as a ‘great opportunity’.

Earlier this week, the 29-year-old made a return to the Chinese Super League, joining Shenhua following Changchun Yatai’s relegation to League One last season.

The move reunites the striker with Sanchez Flores under whom he enjoyed an impressive goalscoring run in his debut Premier League season at Watford.

“It’s important to sort my club future and I’m happy that it comes with a great opportunity to play under coach Quique again,” Ighalo told BBC Sport.

“From the beginning, he made it clear that he wanted me and I completely understand what that means.

“We’ve had some good times together and importantly it’s good to continue in a league you’ve come to understand, so I am really excited.”

The former Granada man scored 15 times in 37 games and, alongside the Spaniard tactician, made history.

In December 2015, the pair clinched the Premier League player and manager of the month awards which was a first time ever for anybody from the club.

Also, according to Ighalo, former Shanghai Shenhua marksman Obafemi Martins equipped him with insights regarding the club.

“I thank Changchun Yatai for the love, support and everything we shared together in two amazing years. I wish the club all the best in what lies ahead,” he continued.

“Right now, I want to give my best to Shanghai Shenhua and make important contributions.

“I also had a good chat with Obafemi Martins [former Shenhua striker] and he gave me an insight on life, football, the club and it’s fan base. Now I know what to expect.”

Ighalo who ended the 2018 Chinese Super League as second top scorer with 21 goals will hope to continue where he stopped when the 2019 season start on March 1.

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