Less than two hours ago, we reported that Odion Ighalo was claiming to have finalised a one-year loan deal with Watford. The club have now confirmed the move and have welcomed the Nigerian to Hertfordshire.
The player’s Twitter account (@ighalojude) has been the source of a lot of interest from Watford fans over the past day or so.
The 25-year-old used the social networking site to post a heartfelt goodbye message to the fans and management at Granada.
I want to thank the president, board of directors, colleagues and staff of Granada CF, their great fans and this marvellous city.
He then spoke to africanfootball.com, sounding confident and upbeat about his then-unconfirmed move.
‘I have completed my loan switch to Watford. I passed a medical on Tuesday and deal is completed, everything is okay. I am happy,’ he said.
Since the africanfootball.com article was published, Ighalo again took to social media to post a photograph of himself in this season’s distinctive red training gear.
Following this, the club finally confirmed what most Hornets by this time already knew by announcing the striker’s one-year loan deal on the official club Twitter account (@watfordfcsays).
Whether this move says anything about the status of Troy Deeney is as yet unknown. Ighalo is and was well-loved by the fans at Granada, however his scoring record leaves a lot to be desired.
The forward scored 17 in 27 appearances as Granada topped Segunda B in 2009/10 but since then he has failed to match that scoring record, with a short-lived loan to Italian outfit Cesena yielding no goals and just three appearances.
Despite this, five goals in 2010/11 helped Granada achieve promotion to La Liga, and his reputation with Granada fans has remained high since he joined in 2009.
As is the case with many strikers, on-paper records often defy a player’s contribution on the pitch. It would of course also be foolish to assume there is no potential for a significant improvement to Ighalo’s goal tally, especially considering this move is to a division that he may be more suited to in a country he has never played in.
Now that the loan switch has been confirmed, talk will almost certainly switch once again back to Deeney’s future at the club. Fans are already asking whether Ighalo has been brought in as a replacement for the Hornets’ number nine, and such speculation is expected to continue for a long while yet.
Troy Deeney is wanted by a number of clubs, with contact reportedly made by Leicester, Swansea, QPR and Everton in recent days. Burnley were understood to have been very interested, but manager Sean Dyche has since stated to the press that Burnley are unwilling to pay a high transfer fee for Deeney.