Eyebrows were raised and many football fans laughed when Manchester United sealed the loan signing of Odion Ighalo on the final day of the winter transfer window.
United had been linked with a host of strikers – including Edinson Cavani, Salomon Rondon and Josh King – after failing to land their top target, Erling Haaland, who joined Borussia Dortmund.
But they eventually settled for Ighalo, who had spent the past few years boosting his bank balance in China with Changchun Yatai and Shanghai Shenhua.
This was a big gamble by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the United hierarchy but they desperately needed a striker after losing Marcus Rashford to injury.
Ighalo hadn’t played in Europe since January 2017 after leaving Watford having scored just two Premier League goals in 19 appearances during the 2016-17 campaign. Was he really good enough for Man Utd?
Fans were initially sceptical – and understandably so – although they quickly warmed to the former Nigeria international after discovering that he was a boyhood United fan.
Suddenly, this story had some romance to it. United supporters on social media immediately got right behind him and were desperate to see him do well.
Fast-forward several weeks and Ighalo, it’s fair to say, has already exceeded expectations.
The 30-year-old scored two goals in Man Utd’s 3-0 win over Derby County on Thursday night and now has three goals in six appearances for the Red Devils.
He further endeared himself to United fans with this funny post-match interview involving Luke Shaw, who was named Man of the Match…
Meanwhile, some Ighalo stats have been doing the rounds on social media following his brace and they’re a mixture of surprising and funny…
These three are daft but made us laugh…
Ighalo, it’s clear to see, is already a firm favourite with United supporters.
“He is doing what it says on the tin and what we asked for when we signed him,” Solskjaer said of Ighalo, per Sky Sports, after the win against Derby.
“He is coming in, playing up front, and he’s a different type of striker. He scores, he gets chances every game and today he could have had another couple. I am very happy with him. It gives us a chance with Mason [Greenwood] and Anthony [Martial] to keep them fresh as well.
“He is experienced and he has scored goals all of his career. He is in and around the box, he reads it, he sniffs out where the chances will come. I think that striker is vital for a team.”
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