Only China Could Match What Watford Wanted – Odion Ighalo
New China league recruit, Odion Ighalo has said that his first choice was to stay in the Premier League before moving to China.
Odion Ighalo joined Watford in 2014 after an initial loan spell and scored 39 goals in 100 appearances for the Hornets.
He told The Sun: “When the options came, my priority was to stay in England.
“West Brom came but what Watford wanted, made it impossible to go there. Crystal Palace, too, showed strong interest but Watford’s demands put them off as well. It was only China that could give them what they wanted.
“On a personal level, it is good money for me but if I had my way I would love to stay in the Premier League.
“I have my family here, the kids are in school here, they have their friends here and getting that stability is never easy when you keep moving your family. But what can we do? Life goes on.”
He said: “I wanted to stay and play in the Premier League, I believed I still had more to offer.
“The money then was much more than this, even triple what I will be getting now.
“I was not interested but this season I wasn’t playing regularly, which is frustrating because, at 27, I want to play every weekend.”
Ighalo puts his poor form down to a number of factors, including the passing of his father last year.
Dropping out of the first team made him desperate for regular football again.
And he makes no apology for pocketing the bundles of cash on offer from the CSL in a league branded uncompetitive.
He said: “The truth is, once I got the words from the club and my agent that a deal was on, I had to check online by Googling the club and the city of Changchun.
“I found out they won the league in 2007 and played in the Asian Champions League twice, so I learned they have the tradition of winning.
“I have played in Norway, Italy, Spain and England, so why not China?
“People get paid for what they do in life. Football is my profession and if I get paid for doing my job, I deserve it. I want to go there and give my best.”
Ighalo also wants to return back to Europe after his three-year stint in Asia. And he will be wealthier for the journey, even if he would prefer to be in England.