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After End of Loan, Odion Ighalo bids Manchester United farewell

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Odion Ighalo

For the Nigerian Foward, Odion Ighalo playing for his childhood club Manchester United is an honour and a dream come through. But his spell at The Theatre of Dreams has come to an end.

 

“It’s so hard to see this dream come to an end,” Ighalo said in a farewell message to Manchester United fans.

 

“But I give God the glory for helping me fulfill this life long dream of putting on a Manchester United shirt as a player and represent this great club, it was indeed an honor I will forever cherish and be grateful for.”

 

United signed Ighalo in January 2020 on transfer deadline day for six months and later extended his deal in June. This loan will officially expire on January 31 2021.

 

The former Nigeria Super Eagles striker’s spell at United was like an unlikely fairytale. As a United fan, he fulfilled his dream of playing for and scoring for the club.

 

Ighalo joined Manchester United at a time when the Premier League was hard-hit by injuries to forward players – Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and Anthony Martial battling with light injuries too.

 

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was optimistic in Ighalo’s quality and experience after his transfer from Chinese side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.

 

“The club has always been very good and, in Odion, we get a proper man, a great lad and a good goalscorer,” Solskjaer told the club website.

Odion Ighalo netted five goals in total for United, with all of them scored in the Europa League and FA Cup.

 

Months after, majority of the injured forward players regained fitness. This reduced his playing time across all competitions for Manchester United.

 

Ighalo’s continued sideline became undebatable when the club signed Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani from Paris Saint German on a free transfer in October.

However, the Nigerian will be remembered as a player who made his contribution to the club when they needed despite being on a short term.

 

Ighalo is grateful for the opportunity to wear the Manchester United jersey as a player.

 

“To the Manager I say thank you for trusting and believing in me when many did not, to my amazing team mates I will miss you guys, it was always fun and a time i look forward to training and spending time with all of you,” Ighalo said.

 

“I’m still and would remain a MANCHESTER UNITED FAN forever. Once a Red, always a Red.”

 

Odion Ighalo is cheering Manchester United who currently sit second to Manchester City to win the Premier League title and win the Emirates FA Cup.

 

Many Manchester United fans, especially Nigerians who wished his time at Old Trafford did not to come to an end have showered praises on the former Nigeria international.

 

Ighalo has not announced his next move after the expiration of his loan deal with Manchester United.

 

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Sports

Heritage Bank Praised for supporting Ibadan Golf Club 

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Heritage Bank Plc has been commended for its continued supports of Nigeria’s sports sector, especially backing the Ibadan Golf Club’s 30th-anniversary event. 

The event that attracted dignitaries and stakeholders from various parastatals also had the presence of the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Oluseyi Makinde and over 150 golfers participated in the tournament during the weeklong celebration.

In a speech during the grand finale of the 30th anniversary of the club, the Captain of the Ibadan Golf Club, Oladiran Ibironke commended one of Nigeria’s most vibrant financial institutions, Heritage Bank and others for providing financial support to ensure the success of the event.

“Special thanks to Heritage Bank Plc., the anniversary’s major sponsor for enlarging our coast financially in order to make the anniversary elaborate and eventful. You will forever be remembered in the history of Ibadan Golf Club,” he stated.

Ibironke also praised the efforts of the founding fathers of the club while tracing the history of how the sporting club has continued to blossom.

He stated that tremendous transformations had occurred within the club since its inception 30 years ago.

“We are celebrating 30 years today because some great minds came together and established what we are celebrating today.

“From the history that we heard,   they started from Ibadan Recreation Club before moving over to where we are today in 1990,” Ibironke said.

Speaking on the 30th anniversary, the Ag. Group Head, Corporate Communications, Heritage Bank, Ozena Utulu noted that the Bank is delighted to be the lead sponsor and to be associated with Ibadan Golf Club, stating that the sponsorship is hinged on its brand’s passion to support sports, especially golf in promoting health, wellbeing, and nation-building.

She stated that Heritage Bank, as the sponsor of Ibadan Golf Club’s 30th anniversary, is working assiduously towards achieving its vision of becoming a bank known for promoting healthy lifestyles and the general wellbeing of the society at large.

“Heritage Bank believes in development. We have the tenacity to develop and sport is a way of developing Nigerians both young and old. We want to encourage the golfers; I believe that this type of games is capable of helping them to keep healthy and fit,” Utulu stated.

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Health & Wellness

LAGOS ACCESS BANK MARATHON RACE: LAGOS POLICE FORTIFY SECURITY, PLEAD WITH MOTORIST TO PLY ALTERNATE ROUTES

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HAkeem Odumosu

 

In preparation for the annual Lagos/Access Bank Marathon race scheduled to hold on Saturday 10th April, 2021, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered for deployment of adequate police operatives across the state, particularly at strategic places and designated routes for the race, to beef up security.

The proactive steps of the Commissioner of Police were geared towards providing security for the athletes, especially the elite athletes, the officials, the invited dignitaries, water and refreshment points and other facilities meant for the event.

The Commissioner of Police had earlier ordered the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, to design an Operation Order, numbered CJ: 3910/LS/DOPS/VOL.28/63, dated 8th April, 2021, to that effect, to cater for general security and public safety during and after the race; and to manage the heavy traffic, which is imminent due to the closure of some roads across the state on Saturday.

The Commissioner of Police has also ordered officers and men detailed for the special duty to keep miscreants and hoodlums at bay in order to avoid any attacks or harassment on the athletes and other participating dignitaries right from the starting point, the first gate of the National Stadium, Surulere, to the terminal point, the Eko Atlantic, Victoria Island, Lagos.

By and large, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has however appealed to the general public, especially those who have essential reasons to move around while the race lasts, to be patient, law-abiding and cooperate with police officers and other security agents deplored for the special duty across the state for smooth traffic management and general safety of all and sundry.

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Arsenal vs Mancity: Can Bukayo Saka, Dani Ceballos, Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard make the difference against a tactically strong City?

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Arsenal vs Mancity

It would be a clash of the titans as top of the table Manchester City would be visiting Arsenal at the Emirate stadium in a bid to stay atop the league table by extending their lead comfortably. An interesting fact is that Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta would be hosting his former boss, Pep Guardiola once again. Clinching a 3 point off an unstable Arsenal side who drew 1-1 with Benfica over the week at the Europa League tournament would comfortable be 13 points above the table.

Since Arteta took over as manager of the club, he has conceded just 25 times. Arsenal are on course to let in fewer than 40 Premier League goals for the first time since finishing runners-up to Leicester City in 2015/16. Focusing intently on a structured shape, the Spaniard’s cautious style has been criticised in some quarters for lacking spontaneity. But Arsenal will rely on this type of secure platform as they seek to end a run of seven consecutive league defeats by Manchester City.

Restricting clear-cut chances for the high-flying leaders will be the key to producing an upset. In terms of their positional play, Arsenal take fewer gambles under Arteta. When one full-back pushes into the final third, the opposite full-back tucks inside to protect against counter-attacks. Both central midfielders usually hold their ground too, rather than making runs into the opposition box. This can leave Arsenal light on numbers in advanced areas but it makes them less vulnerable to fast transitions. Due in part to these changes, they are facing significantly fewer shots per match and conceding fewer goals.

During the 4-2 win at home to Leeds United last weekend, Arsenal’s organised pressing was arguably the best it has been this season.

It helped them regain possession inside the opposition half 24 times, while also limiting the quality of service played into Marcelo Bielsa’s forwards.

Arsenal have looked a more effective side when closing down from the front this term, so it will be fascinating to see if Arteta is bold enough to choose that game plan today for Arsenal vs Mancity.

Youngsters Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard have the energy, enthusiasm and intelligence to perform the task well, but if they are bypassed, it could leave the defense exposed. In the likely continued absence of Thomas Partey, Arsenal will need a stellar performance from Dani Ceballos.

The on-loan Spaniard proved he could marry work rate and defensive discipline with technical ability during an outstanding display in last season’s FA Cup semi-final victory against City.

Repackaging his style to become an all-action central midfielder at Emirates Stadium, the 24-year-old has a big part to play on Sunday.

Squeezing the spaces that Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden want to work in will be an extremely demanding job.

Yet Ceballos has consistently shown an appetite to put the hard yards in this season.

It is widely perceived Granit Xhaka and Partey are Arteta’s first-choice pairing, but statistically it is Ceballos who leads the way in the key categories. The Spaniard is the most effective central midfield ball-winner and also the most progressive distributor from that part of the pitch.

Taming City at this moment is seriously difficult, but if Arsenal are well drilled by Arteta, and if Ceballos plays well, they have a chance of ending their poor run in this fixture.

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