Odion Ighalo insists he is ‘so happy’ he was able to represent Manchester United but admits it was unfair he didn’t get to play much after extending his loan deal.
Ighalo joined Manchester United on loan from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua in January last year on an initial six-month loan.
The loan deal was then extended to January this year.
Ighalo left Manchester United for Saudi Arabian side Al-Shabab after scoring five goals in 23 appearances for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
Asked if he could have stayed beyond January this year, Ighalo told Sky Sports: “There wasn’t much possibility because I wanted more playing time. At my age, I want to play and not just sit on the bench and not have any minutes.
“I didn’t just want to be there picking up a salary – I wanted to be involved so I said to my agent that if an offer comes in, I will look at it and see what’s best for me, which is what I did.
“I’m so happy that my path crossed with Manchester United – it’s the club I love with all my heart and for all my life so playing for them was a big privilege that I do not take for granted.
“No matter the circumstances that led me to leave, I will always be grateful to the coach, my team-mates, the fans, and everyone around Manchester United. After my initial loan was extended, I did not play much which was perhaps a bit unfair but as I said, I am always grateful for the opportunity.”