African players should storm China and make cool money – Ighalo
Former Watford striker Odion Ighalo has been pleasantly surprised by the quality of football in China and says that he would encourage other players to make the move, Hertfordshire Mercury reports.
The 28-year-old left the Hornets in January 2017 to join Chinese Super League side Changchun Yatai for £20m.
The Nigeria forward bagged 15 goals in 27 games during his debut season, having netted 20 and 16 goals in his first two seasons at Vicarage Road, in the Championship and Premier League respectively.
The transition for Ighalo has been smooth but he believes the division is always getting stronger.
The former Hornet played in Nigeria, Norway, Italy, Spain and England before heading to China and he reckons other African players should give the country a chance.
Ighalo told BBC Sport, “If the opportunity jumps on them and they think properly about it, they should go because it’s an opportunity to make some money, play in Asia and to experience the life and culture there.
“Moving from England to China is a different life, the time difference, the way they live, the food, so it’s totally different from what I had experienced but for me it’s normal.
“Every country you go to play, you experience different and new things. I have played in six countries so it’s not new to me.”
He said, “Before I went there, people were saying the level of the Chinese League is very low and you are going to score a lot of goals.
“When I got there I saw a different football game. There are a lot of foreign coaches and foreign players improving the league and the league is getting tougher and stronger.
“Football in China is still growing. I have played a season and this is my second season. I am enjoying the life there and the football.
“When I went there I was expecting a lower class of the league but when I arrived I saw how tough it is and said this is not what I had heard about.
“This is not what people were talking about. It’s tough and it’s difficult to score goals.”