Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo has opened up on his delight at getting a Manchester United shirt as a youngster, but admitted he could not afford to put a name on the back of it.
The Nigerian forward has been an instant hit at Old Trafford, scoring four goals in his loan spell before the COVID-19 postponements.
Many supporters have been drawn to Ighalo due to his affinity towards the club and his hardworking nature on the pitch.
The 30-year-old grew up in Nigeria, and he has revealed how his family did not have lots of money, but how excited he was to finally get a United shirt of his own, even if he couldn’t afford to have a name or number printed on the back.
“I had a United jersey but no player name on the back,” Ighalo told the United magazine.
“It was one of the old blue ones but definitely no name on the back. You have to pay to put names on the back and there was no money to pay for that! I just got the United top.
“It was a blue one but a long time ago. I can’t remember [which season] as I was very, very young.”
Going into more detail about growing up as a Red Devils supporter in Nigeria, Ighalo explained how he used to pay to watch games with his family.
“It’s good. You have to go to an event centre and pay to watch the games.
“Any time United were playing, I’d go with my siblings. You’d have to pay to watch the games and now people are watching me and United. It is a big fanbase and it is growing even bigger.
“Everybody is sending me messages saying they can’t wait to see me and watch the United games. I am very happy about that.”
Ighalo is on loan at United from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua, and he is due to return to them once the season ends.
The Nigeria international earns £8k for every goal he scores for United, as well as his eye-watering £180,000-a-week.