A former Super Eagles star Odion Ighalo has said he joined the Chinese Super League for money and to get enough playing time, Concise News reports.
The player who moved to Watford in 2014 from Granada, helped the Hornets secure promotion to the English Premier League the following year.
Ighalo, however, after netting 33 league goals for the English side in 67 matches, could not score in his last 15 games for the club, meaning a move was inevitable.
He then left Watford in January 2017 to team up with Changchun Yatai for about £20 million with many fans insinuating he went to the Orient nation due to financial reasons.
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) highest goalscorer, has admitted this, saying the same might not be true for other players who move to the East from top leagues in Europe.
“There’s a 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,” he 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.”
According to him, “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.”
Last term, Ighalo struck 10 times in 17 league outing for Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.