Ex-Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo has revealed that he left Watford for China because of money.

Ighalo in January 2017 left Watford where he had played for two and a half years for Chinese side Changchun Yatai who paid a reported £20 million.

The former Premier League star revealed that he moved to China because of the £20 million Changchun Yatai were ready to pay for him.

Odion Ighalo spent two and a half years at Watford before he left for China
Odion Ighalo spent two and a half years at Watford before he left for China

The 30-year-old revealed that he had offers from other English sides, Crystal Palace and West Brom who were not ready to meet Watford’s valuation of him.

There’s lot of reasons I went there [China]. I wasn’t playing much in Watford and I did not want to keep sitting on the bench,”Ighalo told the Watford Observer.

Watford fans don’t know it but I had an offer from Crystal Palace on the table and West Bromwich but the club was looking for big money and that’s why I accepted Changchun Yatai at the time.

“So, instead of me sitting down there and not playing I had to move. When the opportunity came for me I accepted it because China could pay what Watford wanted.

“But this is past tense now. I am happy and Watford are happy because they made a lot of money with me. And they are still my team in the Premier League.

I don’t know about other players. Maybe they go there for different ambitions. Me? Yes, I went there for the money I am honest but I don’t know why other players go there for,” Ighalo also said.

Ighalo also said he has no regrets over his move to China where the league has continued to grow.

Before I went there, people said a lot of negative things about the Chinese League but when I went there I saw a different game,” he said.

The league is really growing, they have a lot of foreign coaches and players who improve the league.

“All I can say is that the Chinese Super League is improving every day and I am very happy about my choice. Regrets? No everything is going well, I am happy there and working hard.”

For the family

Odion Ighalo in 2017 said he made the move to China to secure his children's future  (Instagram/Odion Ighalo)
Odion Ighalo in 2017 said he made the move to China to secure his children's future (Instagram/Odion Ighalo)
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While Watford benefited financially from Ighalo’s move to China, the player himself is also reaping the benefits.

Ighalo joined Changchun Yatai on a N94m (£200,000) per week deal which he said he would use to secure the future of his children.

Part of the decision I went to China was for them,” the striker said in an interview with Linda Ikeji TV.,”

Now they won’t understand the type of sacrifice because they are young. But when they grow up and see everything I have achieved and put in their name in they will appreciate.

I don’t regret moving to China,” he added.

Ighalo has since left Changchun Yatai who since suffered relegation to the Chinese second division and now plays for Shanghai Shenhua in the top division.