Watford FC striker Odion Ighalo has emerged as the maiden winner of the newly instituted 366football.com Players Award for Nigerian players.
Ighalo who has been enjoying a rich goal-scoring form since moving to England beat the quartet of Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Ahmed Musa and Oghenekaro Etebo who were all outstanding in their own rights in the period under review to the prestigious award.
The Nigerian international was rated the top gun in England for the calendar year 2015 having scored 30 goals in all.
Ighalo has already broken many records which among others include him emerging as the first Watford player to score in five consecutive PL matches, the Nigerian striker who currently is on 14 goals is the only Watford player in history to have scored as many goals in one season in the PL
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
While Ighalo has stamped his feet at club level, many hope he would turn out this lethal for the national team especially as the battle for qualification for the AFCON 2017 enters the business end.
Congratulations to Ighalo; winner of the 2015 Nigeria Player of the Year Award powered by 366football.com