When Manchester United announced they were signing Odion Ighalo on loan in January, many rival fans were mocking them.
Ighalo had spent the last three years in China after leaving Watford – where he scored one goal in 18 Premier League appearances in his final season at Vicarage Road.
But United were desperate after failing to replace Romelu Lukaku last summer and took a punt on the United fan.
But it’s already looking like an inspired decision from the club.
Ighalo has scored three goals and has helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side go on a brilliant run of form.
He even played a role in United’s 2-0 win against Manchester City on Sunday despite coming on in the 88th-minute.
He job was to help his side see out their 1-0 lead given to them by a first half Anthony Martial strike.
But he did more than that – contributing to Scott McTominay’s strike in injury-time to clinch a famous victory for the Red Devils.
But the striker worked hard and there was one moment that impressed fans.
In the early stages of injury-time, David de Gea booted the ball upfield towards Ighalo, who was under pressure of Fernandinho.
It was vital that Ighalo held the ball and allowed United to keep possession. He backed into Fernandinho and produced a perfect first touch before passing the ball off to Fred.
It may have looked simple but it was exactly what Solskjaer put Ighalo on the pitch for.
It’s certainly an improvement on former striker Lukaku.
On his day, the Belgian in unplayable but he was often criticised for his poor first touch, often giving away possession.
And United fans were quick to notice that Ighalo is much more accomplished in that department.
While Ighalo has performed well in his own right, former United midfielder Roy Keane believes he’s also helped others improve.
“You’ve had a reaction as well from Martial,” Keane said.
“Sometimes a new striker comes in, you praise the new striker, but then that pushes the other lads.
“There’s almost been a reaction from Martial, thinking: ‘Oh, I’ve got another player to fight with for my position’. And there’s been a good reaction.”
Meanwhile, Jamie Redknapp praised Ighalo for his cameo and praised him for his role in McTominay’s goal.
“When you’re struggling, you’re hanging on, you want your centre-forward to get hold of the ball.
“Just hold it up and do something special for you. He keeps it alive, it’s a lovely backheel and look what you get at the end of it.”
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