Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo scored his 30th goal in 2015 to equal record of the most league goals scored by a player in a calendar year in England’s top four tiers.
The Nigerian international extended his tally in 2015 to 30 after cancelling Lamela’s opener in the 2-1 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Monday.
It’s tempting to think that Ighalo’s relatively late blooming can be explained by his unusual career progression. Born in Lagos, his European adventure began in Norway with mid-table Lyn. Before long he was attracting attention from fellow Tippeligaen rivals Brann but the deal was scuppered by interest from Italy.
Nigerian forward Ighalo’s 2015 tally started in somewhat more forgettable fashion. The former Udinese and Granada striker netted for the Hornets in a 3-1 away defeat to Huddersfield in the Championship, on January 10, but kicked on to score an unprecedented seven goals in January, before following up with six in February.
Despite failing to find the back of the net in the whole of March, the 26-year-old failed to score netted three times in April as Watford secured automatic promotion to the Barclay’s Premier League, coming second with 89 points from their 46 matches – one behind table-toppers Bournemouth. Those goals helped Ighalo to 16 goals from 18 2015 Championship games, and 20 for the season.
Since making the step up to the Premier League, Ighalo has forged an even more formidable strike partnership with Troy Deeney under Quique Sanchez Flores. He has at press time bagged 14 goals in 19 top flight appearances this season to place third on the EPL top scorers chart –one goal behind Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku.