Odion Ighalo will remain with Watford following death of his father

Watford’s top scorer Odion Ighalo says he will finish the Premier League season with Watford, despite the news this morning his father has passed away.

Paul Ighalo died in his sleep in Lagos, Nigeria, just hours after Odion had played for the Hornets in their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Crystal Palace at Wembley.

“A few days ago he complained of weakness,” the Watford striker told ESPN. “He was taken to hospital for treatment. This morning, he died in his sleep.”

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The 26-year-old, who is one of six siblings, says he plans finish the season with Watford before heading back to Nigeria for the funeral.

“The season is almost over and it might be a while before all the funeral arrangements are complete,” he said. “So although I will continue to stay in close contact with my family over there, I will be here with my club until then.”

Ighalo would almost certainly be granted compassionate leave should the funeral take place before the end of the campaign. If  he was to depart Vicarage Road before the final game against Sunderland on May 15, it may be some time until the striker is back in a Watford shirt as he is likely to miss the start of pre-season training after being named in Nigeria’s provisional squad for the Olympic Games.