Odion Ighalo says he is in no rush to secure a big-money move away from Watford after he picked up the Premier League Player of the Month award for December in what was a significant double for the club.
Ighalo fought off stiff competition from Mesut Ozil, Marko Arnautovic, Riyad Mahrez, Romelu Lukaku and Dele Alli to win the gong on the back of goals against Norwich, Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur. The Nigerian international also scored against Chelsea, but that was officially put down as a Gary Cahill own-goal by the dubious goals panel on Monday.
Ighalo’s rich form, which has yielded a total of 13 league goals, has seen his profile and transfer value rocket. Matt Le Tissier, the Sky Sports’ pundit, feels the Nigerian is capable of playing for any club in the Premier League. However, both Ighalo and the club have made it pretty clear no bids will be considered this month. The situation will be reassessed in the summer when the club’s money men will take into account the £17m Bournemouth have paid for Benik Afobe and Lewis Grabban when placing an accurate price tag on the head of the 26-year-old who has taken the Premier League by storm.
“I have a five-year contract, the fans love me here and I am very happy,” Ighalo said in an interview with Sky Sports News. “I’m not in a hurry to go anywhere.”
Ighalo’s transformation into one of the most sought-after players on the continent is a remarkable one considering the club were willing to do business with a Chinese club in the summer for £10m. Quique Sanchez Flores, who won the manager’s award for December, also took a while to be convinced of his qualities, starting Matej Vydra and Troy Deeney against SC Paderborn and naming Ighalo on the bench against Everton.
“The gaffer took over in the summer and told us what he wanted,” Ighalo said in a Sky interview at the training ground. “We worked hard in pre-season. We knew the step up was going to be difficult so I put a lot of work in and gave my best. It’s been paying off and I’ll keep working and keep learning every day.”