Watford striker Odion Ighalo has pinpointed Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny as his toughest opponent in Premier League thus far this season. The Nigerian has come up against defenders from all teams in the league this season and has indicated that the Frenchman was the best of the lot as he made life difficult for the forward to execute his game plan.
The Hornets have faced the north London club just once this season, when the Gunners ran them out 3-0 and emerged as the winners at Vicarage Road on 17 October. Watford travel to the Emirates Stadium on 2 April. The free scoring forward has been difficult to stop this season and has already notched up 15 goals and five assists in 26 Premier League appearances thus far this campaign.
Koscielny has become Arsene Wenger's preferred choice at the heart of the Arsenal defence and is recognised as one of the leaders in the squad. Gunners legend Thierry Henry recently labelled him the best in the league as well, which elicited a response from the defender, who has admitted that he is happy with life at the Emirates.
"I think I've faced a lot of tough defenders this season. But I would say that against Arsenal Koscielny didn't give me enough space to do what I want to do and that game was really difficult," Ighalo said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.
Quique Sanchez Flores's side have been the surprise package of the season and are currently in ninth place in the Premier League looking very much like they will remain in the English top-flight for another campaign. They are just two points behind Liverpool with 36 points, while being 12 points clear of the relegation places.
Ighalo, who has been voted Nigerian footballer of the year, has attracted interest from the Premier League big guns with his performances and has been linked with moves to Arsenal and Manchester United. According to the Mirror, Watford are resigned to losing him and will listen to offers that meet their valuation of around £12m ($17m). The report claims that Granada striker Isaac Success has already been identified as his replacement opening the door for a summer move.