The sterling performances of Watford striker Odion Ighalo has seen him being named October’s English Premier League African Player of the Month ahead of Sadio Mane of Southampton and Manchester City’s Yaya Toure.
Announcing the award, New African Soccer’s Award director ‘Tunde Adelakun stated: “Odion Ighalo has been tethering on the periphery of this award since the season started. He has come in to the Premier League with a rich scoring form from the Championship, and carried it on as if it was normal”.
Adelakun also expressed satisfaction at the progress of the Awards, saying “the rate at which more and more people are taking to this concept is a strong motivating factor for us to continue this drive, aimed at recognising our stars” while thanking all who made their contributions through votes, comments and other means in making the Awards worthwhile.
Receiving his award, the October man of the month Ighalo said, “It is a great honour for me to be given this award. I thank God, through whom I achieve most of what I have, and my team mates for making it possible for me to score the goals that I score”.
Nigeria international Ighalo said that he was moved by the award and that it can only motivate him to continue to do more, and set a good positive benchmark for others like him from Africa, to make them see that the sky is the limit for anyone who tries hard.
Ighalo has been acclaimed by proven statistics to be the highest scorer in English leagues in the 2015 calendar year so far, with 23 goals (dating from his Championship days with Watford to the Premier League) and he attributes it to hard work.
“I work hard for the goals I score and I spot opportunity and grab it. The secret is always to work hard and to have self-belief, and I think I have both,” he said.
Ighalo’s Watford were hot favourites to go back down following their promotion to the Premier League, but 11 games in, they occupy a decent 11th place with 16 points