Former Watford front man Odion Ighalo has claimed that the Chinese Super League has proved to be a tougher task than he expected following his £20m transfer away from England’s top flight.
The Nigerian international currently plays Changchun Yatai, after leaving Premier League side Watford in the 2017 January transfer window.
“Before I went there people were saying the level of the Chinese League is very low and you are going to score a lot of goals,” Ighalo stated in an interview with the BBC.
“When I got there, I saw a different football game. There are a lot of foreign coaches and foreign players improving the league and the league is getting tougher and stronger."
The 28-year-old has scored 16 goals in 30 appearances since he joined Changchun Yatai, but admits he was expecting it to be an easier ride.
He added: "When I went there I was expecting a lower class of the league but when I arrived I saw how tough it is and said this is not what I had heard about. This is not what people were talking about. It's tough and it's difficult to score goals.
"Moving from England to China is a different life, the time difference, the way they live, the food, so it's totally different from what I had experienced but for me it's normal."
Ighalo came on as an early second half substitute for the Super Eagles, as they were beaten 2-0 by Serbia, courtesy of a brace from Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The former Hornets striker was linked with a move back to England’s top division earlier this season, with the likes of Everton, Southampton, West Ham and Stoke City rumoured to be interested, according to reports from Italy.
During his time in the Premier League, Ighalo netted 16 goals in 55 appearances, finishing Watford’s top goal scorer in the 2015/16 season.