Manchester United Football Club made two key moves in the January transfer window. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sanctioned a big-money deal for Bruno Fernandes, who is already repaying that faith.
Then you have Odion Ighalo. The veteran striker was signed on a short-term deal from Chinese Super League club, Shanghai Shenhua. Many thought that this deal would be a quick-fix loan move and nothing more.
However, while speaking to the media, the Baby Faced Assassin has hinted that the move could be made permanent if Ighalo continues to improve.
Solskjaer was full of praise for the United attacker who is ‘here in merit’, while labelling Ighalo a ‘breath of fresh air’.
“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 told Sky Sports News.
“We might get to the summer and think we want to extend this, who knows?
“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. 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.”
You have to be impressed with Ighalo’s attitude. He has come back to the Premier League after a spell in the Far East and re-adjusted brilliantly. Sure, it helps that he’s now playing for his boyhood club, but the ex-Watford striker deserves credit.
He’s not here to make up the numbers. Ighalo offers a different dimension, which was evident during the game against Club Brugge. He can be that fox-in-the-box, that guy who scores the scrappy goals. That’s a trait that both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford just don’t have right now…
Even Ighalo being here as a teacher just for a few months, that could be pivotal for player development going forward. It’d be daft not to explore the option of signing the Nigerian permanently.
Do I think it’s going to happen? No, but United have to do their due diligence.