February 8, 2023

Ighalo at Man Utd on Merit ―Solskjaer

March 5, 2020
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in handshake with Odion Ighalo

Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, on Thursday said Nigeria’s striker Odion Ighalo, has the needed reputation to play for the Old Trafford club, hinting that his style of play may earn him extended contract.

There was widespread misgiving when the Shanghai Shenhua-owned striker joined the Red Devils on loan in the January transfer window, with some overtly condemning the move for a player who left lowly Watford to Oriental football of China.

However, Solksjaer said he is impressed by Ighalo’s reaction in training and matches and may offer the Nigeria a fresh deal

“It doesn’t hurt [living the dream] but he’s here on merit, he’s here because he is a goalscorer and a different type of striker for us,” Solskjaer said to Sky Sports UK.

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“We might get to the summer and think we want to extend this, who knows?”

Though Ighalo has mostly played as a substitute and scored only once in five games, the former Super Eagles star offers something different than Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, something which has been pointed out by Solskjaer.

The penalty-box predator had three clear cut chances to increase his goal tally in Premier League matches against Chelsea, Watford and Everton but was unfortunate not to score.

Solskjaer added : “He’s come in as a breath of fresh air as well. He had chances in his five minutes against Chelsea, he scored against Bruges, he had chances against Watford, he had a very good save [from a shot] against Everton – there have been good saves, he doesn’t miss the target very often.

“Even for Anthony (Martial), Mason (Greenwood) and Marcus (Rashford) to learn that it is where the sharks are swimming.

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“It’s comfortable outside the box and you can have a few shots. It’s in there where it might be a bit tougher and you might get hurt – that’s where you get goals”.

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