Watford striker Odion Ighalo not for sale, says Walter Mazzari

Watford striker Odion Ighalo not for sale, says Walter Mazzari

Nigerian international Odion Ighalo will not be sold in January and still has a role to play, says Watford's head coach.

Nick Allen

Watford manager Walter Mazzari has ruled out the sale of out-of-sorts striker Odion Ighalo in the January transfer window.

The Nigerian international has lost his place in the side and is enduring a dismal run of form.

He's found the net just once this term and it wouldn’t come as a shock to anybody if the striker was moved on in the upcoming window.

However, Mazzari is adamant that the striker is still important to Watford.

He said: “No, I wouldn’t be happy seeing Ighalo go. Of course I always speak about what I know and speak about what I’ve seen this season. He’s a player I like and trust very much.”

Competition is fierce

There is plenty of competition for places up-front, with skipper Troy Deeney, Stefano Okaka and fellow Nigerian Isaac Success all seeming to be ahead of the struggling Ighalo.

Mazzari added: “Of course he [Ighalo] is a player that we need and he’s in competition at the same level with all the other strikers which can be Deeney, Okaka, Success and even Jerome Sinclair.”

The Italian head coach’s new formation also seems to point towards a lack of first-team action for Ighalo, as Roberto Pereyra and Nordin Amrabat have also both impressed in more advanced roles.

Kenedy axed

One teammate not so well thought of is Chelsea loanee Kenedy, who had his short term deal terminated on Friday.

The versatile Brazilian managed just half-an-hour of first-team action and has terminated his unsuccessful loan spell by mutual consent.

Watford travel to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday where Ighalo is likely to be benched again.

However, the 27-year-old will be hoping to get a chance to prove his worth with the busy Christmas period fast approaching. 

The FA Cup third round in the early weeks of January should provide him with an opportunity to impress Mazzari and win back his place.