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‘What I did to meet-up training standard at Manchester United’ – Odion Ighalo

Odion Ighalo recently shared insights into his experience transitioning from Shanghai Shenhua to Manchester United FC, highlighting the stark differences in training standards.

Having previously played for Watford in the Premier League, Ighalo opted to remain in England despite lucrative offers from the Chinese League. However, after a challenging season, he moved to Changchung Yatai in China, where he experienced success. Subsequently, he joined Shanghai Shenhua, where he continued to impress.

The opportunity to fulfill his dream of playing for Manchester United on loan presented itself to Ighalo in January 2020. Despite his excitement, he acknowledged the need to elevate his fitness and performance to meet the rigorous demands of the Premier League.

In an interview with Oma Sports TV, Ighalo disclosed the extra efforts he invested in his training while still playing in China. He underwent additional sessions and personal training to adapt to the intensity and sharpness required at Manchester United.

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“There was a difference in level when I joined Manchester United. I played at Watford before for three years before I went to China. I played for three years there, but coming back to Manchester United was a big difference as you had to be sharp because the intensity was high,” Ighalo said per Oma Sports TV.

“When I came (to Manchester United), I joined the training camp in Spain. So I started doing my own personal training to catch up even though my league was on in China.

“When they came back, I started training with them. I had to step up my game. I started working hard, I was working with one trainer in Manchester United.

Ighalo celebrating a goal at Manchester United


“Sometimes maybe after morning training in the evening I would go there to do some work to be able to catch up. The level there was different.

“The training was not more than one and half hour, but it was sharp and tough. When I saw the tackles, I saw the running, I saw the sprinting, then I told myself that I was back to work, not what I was doing in China for three years.”

Ighalo currently plays for Saudi Arabian top-flight club, Al Wedha SC.

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