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Profit Players: Odion Ighalo

Profit Players: Odion Ighalo

Watford supporters have been drowning their sorrows in recent times after seeing their side suffer a third Premier League defeat of the season on Saturday.

Javi Gracia’s men went into their encounter with Bournemouth off the back of a 2-0 loss at the hands of Arsenal in their previous league clash, and thus having failed to win any of their last three matches ahead of the visit of Eddie Howe’s Cherries. And that run now stands at four following a 4-0 hammering at the hands of the South Coast outfit on Saturday, with a brace from Josh King as well as strikes from David Brooks and Callum Wilson sealing a comprehensive victory for Bournemouth at Vicarage Road.

As such, there have been many disappointed Hornets supporters up and down the country in recent times, several of whom will be hoping for improvement from their side in the coming weeks and months, especially given they were reasonably busy during the summer window.

And while the Hertfordshire-based outfit earned many plaudits for the business they conducted during the close season, they themselves surely wouldn’t have believed their luck back in January 2017 when they sold striker Odion Ighalo for £20.97 million (as per Transfermarkt).

And having spent just £7.2 million (as per Transfermarkt) luring him to Vicarage Road just a few years earlier, having excelled in a loan spell at the club just before then, a very healthy £13.77 million profit underlines an outstanding piece of business from the club’s hierarchy.

Ultimately, the 29-year-old made a fantastic start to life at Watford in bagging 20 goals in just 35 games in the Championship in the 2014/15 campaign, thus helping the Hornets return to the Premier League for the first time since their disastrous relegation campaign back in 2007.

And the Nigeria international upped it again the season after in bagging 16 times in the top-flight to help the Hornets comfortably stave off the drop under Quique Flores, with just six players scoring more than Ighalo in the Premier League that term.

Thus, at the time, the 29-year-old was one of the most lethal strikers in the English top-flight and expectations were rising all the time, only for the forward to seriously struggle in the 2016/17 campaign, in which time he scored just one Premier League goal in 18 appearances.

Ighalo looked a shadow of the striker that bagged 37 goals in his first two seasons at Watford in the first half of the 2016/17 season, which is why when he left the club in the winter window that term, it wasn’t a huge surprise.

But what was a surprise was the fee paid by Chinese side Changchun Yatai for the 29-year-old, splashing out £20.97 million on a striker that had scored just two league goals in his previous 32 league appearances – it was a staggering sum of money.

Yes, the Hornets owe Ighalo greatly for helping them return to the Premier League and indeed stay there in that first season, but it’s also arguable that his goal-scoring woes at the start of the 2016/17 campaign plunged them into trouble – they eventually finished 17th that term.

Overall though, the Watford hierarchy surely wouldn’t have believed their luck when they sold the striker back in January 2017, with a £13.77 million profit a remarkable piece of business indeed.

Watford fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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