AFCON Snub: Ighalo Terminates Al Shabaab Contract, Joins Rivals Al-Hilal
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By Our Correspondent With Agency Report
Super Eagles striker, Odion Jude Ighalo have joined Al-Hilal Football Club of Saudi Arabia from rivals Al Shabaab
The move comes few weeks after his former club, Al Shabaab denied him opportunity to be part of Nigeria’s squad for the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations AFCON in Cameroon where they crashed out in the Round of 16
The contract is for one-and-a-half year and the former Manchester United striker terminated his existing two-year contract with Al Shabaab to join the Al Hilal on Saturday.
Ighalo, 32, signed for Al Shabaab from Manchester United in January 2021.
The Al Hilal deal was announced in a tweet on the club’s verified Twitter account on Saturday.
The 32-year-old is joining the Blue Waves for an undisclosed fee. He also reportedly penned a one-and-the-half contract with the Saudi Professional League outfit.
“Welcome the ‘Eagle’, Odion Ighalo,” the tweet read, accompanied by a graphic image of the Nigerian in his club’s colour.
TheCable reports that Ighalo, who is the current leading goal scorer in the Saudi league with 12 goals, leaves Al Shabaab after joining the club in February 2021.
He had joined the Saudi champions following a loan spell at Manchester United.
Ighalo also made a U-turn from his nearly three-year-long international retirement in 2021.
Despite retiring from the Super Eagles in 2019, Gernot Rohr, the former head coach, had lured the Lagos-born striker back to the team.
He was a second-half substitute in the Eagles last World Cup qualification match against Cape Verde in November 2021.
Ighalo was, however unable to link up with the team for the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) — despite being included in the squad.
This was due to a controversial clause in his contract with Al-Shabab.
Al Hilal are currently 4th in the 16-club 2021/2022 Saudi Arabia League with 31 points from 17 matches