Ex-Nigeria international Odion Jude Ighalo has spoken on why he chose to wear jersey No. 25 at Manchester United.
The 30-year-old, who has joined on a loan deal from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, until the end of the season gave a complicated answer at his unveiling on Tuesday and said it was in some way linked to the shirt he wore during his last spell in the Premier League with Watford.
“No 19 was available. When I was at Watford I put on 24, 24 is not available,” he told MUTV.”In Shanghai No 9, it’s not available so I said 24 + 1 is 25, so I said Ok let me go for 25 instead of 19.
There were reports claiming he had chosen it because of it’s popularity in Nigeria after Nwankwo Kanu wore it at Arsenal and it was also suggested that he selected it because Quinton Fortune, the first African to represent United, had also pulled on the shirt.
Ighalo did agree with the suggestion that Fortune had provided an inspiration.
“I watched Quinton Fortune play for Man Utd, he’s a great player, and I know he put on 25. So I said 25 is good even though I didn’t get the number I was looking for. Twenty-five is a perfect number. One above what I wore before when I was in the Premier League.”.”
Watch him speak on the joy of playing for Manchester United:
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 5, 2020
Ighalo is expected to meet up with his new teammates for the first time on Saturday when they will fly out for a warm weather training camp for the second week of the winter break.
The striker has not played since the end of November so will be hoping to get back to match fitness ahead of United’s trip to Stamford Bridge on February 17.
Reported by Manchester Evening News