Odion Ighalo and Watford on track for memorable return to Premier League

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If Leicester City's Jamie Vardy wasn't busy breaking records and taking the Premier League by storm, another man would certainly have made more headlines than he has already this season.

Watford's Odion Ighalo is in red hot form at the moment and proving the catalyst to his side's superb campaign back in the top flight.

The Nigerian put in another match-winning performance last weekend against Liverpool, scoring twice and steering his side to victory, and impressed once again away at Chelsea on Saturday. His composure in front of goal is some of the most impressive in the Premier League.


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While Ighalo's 13 league goals may come as a surprise to many, they should in fact serve as further evidence of the clinical nature in which he takes his chances. The 26-year-old netted 20 Championship goals last season, joint fourth highest and just one behind Troy Deeney's 21.

Indeed, the same partnership appears to be clicking for the Hornets this season, lifting them to seventh and within three points of the Premier League's top four.

And manager Quique Sanchez Flores believes the link-up between Ighalo and Deeney is key to his team's chances this season.

He said, according the Guardian: “If you are playing with two strikers separate to the rest of the players it’s very difficult to stop other teams. If you’re playing 30 to 35 matches with fewer players when defending then you can tire.

"So that’s the key: when we are playing with two strikers and we have the ball we have a lot of possibilities, for good football, counterattacking or playing long ball out of defence.

"But when we don’t have the ball they come back with the rest of the players and form a compact block. For us it’s necessary to be defending with all our players."

Ighalo has largely outshone Deeney this season, displaying the pace and power necessary for strikers in the modern game.

His dribbling ability has also been admirable, the Nigerian even establishing his very own skill move, called the 'Iggy Chop' (shown below).

The move has fooled several defenders so far this season such as Fabricio Coloccini, Ryan Bennett and James Collins, with Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho the latest victim of the trick. Ighalo's ability to go past players adds another dimension to his play that other strikers in the league perhaps lack. 

The striker has scored over half of Watford's goals this season, underlining his importance to his team's quest to stay in the top flight. The next top scorer at the club is Deeney with five and it is that very partnership that could give the club their best season to date.

However, it remains to be seen whether the Hornets can maintain this scintillating run of form. If they do, there is little doubt Ighalo will be at the centre of everything positive about Watford this season.

Rarely have we seen a striker come up from the Championship and make such an impact like Ighalo has - and if he keeps it up, it could well be a campaign to remember for the Nigerian and everyone at Vicarage Road. 

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