Why Newcastle United should go all out to sign Odion Ighalo
The striker made a name for himself at Watford after struggling in Italy with Cesena and Udinese, and in Spain with Granada, before arriving in England. The Nigerian striker scored 17 goals in 18 starts (plus nine sub appearances) in 2014/15 as Watford gained promotion.
He was then a surprise hit in his first-ever Premier League season with 15 goals in 2015/16.
Currently playing in the Chinese Super League for Shanghai Shenhua – his second club in China, after moving from Changchun Yatai in February – he has scored 10 goals in 18 games this season.
At the age of 30, Ighalo is in the prime of his career and he would be better off moving to the Premier League instead of continuing in China. The skilful frontman may have spent the last two years in the Chinese Super League but he is still fondly remembered for his time in England with Watford.
Newcastle, on the other hand, lost two of their top goal-scorers in summer after Salomon Rondon joined former boss Rafa Benitez at Dalian Yifang F.C and Ayoze Perez made a switch to the King Power.
They did manage to sign Andy Carroll after the striker went through a mixed season at West Ham. Hoffenheim forward Joelinton joined the club for a club-record fee while the likes of Saint-Maximin and Jetro Willems too made the switch to St. James’ Park.
Under Steve Bruce, the Magpies have relied on their defence quite a lot. Some of their best attacks have come on the counter and in Willems and Saint-Maximin, they have wingers who can race from end to end across the pitch.
However, the over-reliance on Joelinton is clearly seen, backed by the fact that they have managed to score as few as 15 goals in 15 games. Their deficiencies at the higher end of the pitch have resulted in them fighting it out in the lower half of the league table.
A loan deal for Ighalo would be best suited for both parties, as the forward would be able to restart his career in a more competitive league while Newcastle would find a cheap and quick solution to their shortcomings.
Of late, the Magpies have shown a tendency to sign young players and sell them for huge profits, which Ighalo is less likely to offer. But a loan deal for the ex-Watford striker would be a low-risk gamble that could pay off for Newcastle United and Steve Bruce.