Odion Ighalo is officially a Manchester United player.
The former Nigeria international’s loan move to Old Trafford from Shanghai Shenhua was confirmed by the Red Devils late on Friday night following hours of negations.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was desperate to bring in a striker to ease the burden on Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood, with Marcus Rashford out of action until March at the earliest, and expressed his delight after sealing Ighalo’s services on a short-term basis.
“Odion is an experienced player. He will come in and give us an option of a different type of centre-forward for the short spell he’s staying with us,” Solskjaer told Man Utd’s official website.
“A great lad and very professional, he will make the most of his time here.”
Ighalo is a boyhood Man Utd fan, admitting in a 2016 interview: “They were my team growing up.
“I loved watching Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke on TV. They were my idols and playing at Old Trafford has always been a dream.”
So for the 30-year-old, this is an absolute dream move and an unexpected opportunity that he’ll be looking to grab with both hands.
Ighalo was previously linked with a move to Old Trafford back in 2016. Louis van Gaal attempted to sign the Nigerian striker for £35 million in January 2016, but the offer was rejected.
Ighalo went on to score 15 Premier League goals in total that season but struggled the following campaign, netting just once in 18 appearances for Watford before moving on to Chinese side Changchun Yatai.
As the forward struggled during the opening weeks of the 2016-17 season, @ManUtdMindset (a funny United fan who’s well worth a follow, by the way) tweeted: “Imagine Van Gaal signed Ighalo lmao. What a near miss that was.”
His follow-up tweet on Friday night was perfect...
A lot can change in four years!
But @ManUtdMindset was fully on the Ighalo hype train minutes later, tweeting: “Fu*k it. The Nigerian R9 returns to the PL. #WelcomeIghalo”.
This was followed by a series of amusing tweets from the United fan…
While Bruno Fernandes is expected to make his United debut against Wolves on Saturday evening, Ighalo will need to wait to make his first appearance.
Expect him to be involved when United take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on February 17.News Now - Sport News