‘Odion Knows How Much We Value Him’: Solskjaer Hails Ighalo’s Impact

Norwich City's English-born Northern Irish defender Jamal Lewis (L) clocks a shot from Manchester United's Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo during the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road in Norwich, eastern England on June 27, 2020. Joe Giddens / POOL / AFP
Norwich City’s English-born Northern Irish defender Jamal Lewis (L) clocks a shot from Manchester United’s Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo during the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road in Norwich, eastern England on June 27, 2020. Joe Giddens / POOL / AFP

 

Manchester United boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has poured encomiums on former Super Eagles star, Odion Ighalo following his performance for the side on Saturday. 

The Nigerian scored the opening goal for United in their quarter-final FA Cup win against Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Ighalo scored the goal in the first five minutes of the match when he jabbed the ball over Tim Krul in goal for Norwich, his fifth in four games for the club, leaving Solskjaer proud of the former Watford man.

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“Odion knows how much we value him in and around the dressing room and, of course, on the pitch,” the coach told the club’s website.

Solskjaer described Ighalo as “a goalscorer and a poacher” who is strong on the ball.

He noted that the striker gives the team options and “the chance to rotate with Marcus [Rashford], Anthony [Martial], and Mason [Greenwood] so they can get a rest and be fresh for every game.”

Repaying United’s Trust

Ighalo signed a loan extension with United on June 1, a deal which would see him stay at the Premier League club until the end of the season.

Ighalo’s initial loan deal from Shanghai Shenhua expired at the end of May, but the 30-year-old has been rewarded for an impressive return of four goals in eight appearances for United before football was shut down by the coronavirus pandemic in March.

“Manchester United have reached agreement with Shanghai Greenland Shenhua to extend the loan deal for Odion Ighalo,” United said in a statement.

“He will now remain with the Reds until 31 January 2021, enabling him to build on an impressive start to life with the club he supported as a boy.”

Nigerian Star Ighalo Eager To Extend Man United Deal

A file photo of Odion Ighalo. Source: [email protected]

 

Former Super Eagles star, Odion Ighalo, is eager to extend his stay with Manchester United until the end of the Premier League season. 

Ighalo, 30, joined the Premier League side from Chinese Super League outfit, Shanghai Shenhua in January and his contract with the Old Trafford side will expire on May 31.

The Premier League is expected to restart in June after going on a break due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but with the Chinese league set to resume, the Nigerian may return to the Asian nation.

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Staying back with Red Devils until the end of the season, however, is something the former Watford man wants

“I would like to finish the season if it’s possible,” Ighalo was quoted as telling BBC Sport.

The player noted that before the season went on a break, he was in a good form, and scoring goals for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

According to him, he gave his best to the team and is hoping that play will restart soon.

Reflecting on the team’s form before the league was paused, Ighalo said United was having a “good momentum” but expressed worries that since he is on loan, his time with the club may be cut short.

The Premier League giants are keen to extend Ighalo’s contract with the player having scored four goals in eight matches in all competitions for the club.

Clubs and players are passing through a lot this period as they have not been able to do what they love, according to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) highest goalscorer.

He explained that as efforts are being made to restart and finish the season, contract talks would not be on the radar at the moment.

“I just want everyone to be safe and see what the future holds,” he added.

With nine games remaining, Solskjaer’s men are fifth on the league log and Ighalo hopes the Premier League will take the right decision and restart play when it is safe to do so.

Clubs in England’s top division will meet on Monday to discuss a possible resumption date for the season.

Chinese Side Shanghai Shenhua Offer Ighalo New £400,000 Per Week Deal

A file photo of Odion Ighalo. Source: [email protected]

 

Chinese Super League side, Shanghai Shenhua, has offered Nigerian striker, Odion Ighalo, a £400,000 per week deal. 

Ighalo, 30, joined Manchester United on a six-month loan deal from the Chinese side during the close of the January 2020 transfer window.

His deal expires on May 31st, but the Old Trafford outfit are ready to extend his stay until June 30th due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.

Although United are considering signing the former Watford striker on a permanent deal at the end of his contract, Shangai have offered Ighalo the whooping deal to lure him back to the Asian nation, according to Sky Sports.

READ MORE: Why Ighalo Deserves Permanent Manchester United Deal – Rio Ferdinand

The 30-year-old’s present deal with Shangai elapses in December 2022, but the club are willing to keep him with them until December 2024.

Even though the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) top scorer is waiting on the Premier League giants to give him a permanent deal, the £400,000 a week before tax from the Chinese side, may make Ighalo reconsider his stance.

United legend, Rio Ferdinand is among people calling on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team to hand the former Nigerian international a permanent deal.

 

 

 

 

Why Ighalo Deserves Permanent Manchester United Deal – Rio Ferdinand

Manchester United's Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo scores his team's second goal during the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Derby County and Manchester United at Pride Park Stadium in Derby, central England on March 5, 2020. Photo: Oli Scarff / AFP
File: Manchester United’s Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo scores his team’s second goal during the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Derby County and Manchester United at Pride Park Stadium in Derby, central England on March 5, 2020. Photo: Oli Scarff / AFP

 

Odion Ighalo deserves a permanent deal at Manchester United because he has brought  his “physical presence” to the side, club legend, Rio Ferdinand, has said. 

Ighalo, 30, joined Manchester United in a surprise move at the close of the January 2020 transfer window from Chinese Super League outfit,  Shanghai Shenhua.

The Nigerian was signed on a six-month loan deal as a cover for injured Englishman, Marcus Rashford.

Since he joined the Old Trafford outfit and having played eight times, the former Watford striker has scored four goals and bagged one assist.

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There have been calls for United’s management to hand the Lagos-born forward a permanent deal with boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, muting the idea.

And Ferdinand, who played for United between 2002 and 2014, has joined the call for a permanent deal for the former Granada man.

In a question and answer session on his YouTube channel, Tuesday, the former England defender, said the 30-year-old striker has the physical ability that was lacking in the Red Devils.

While Ighalo may not have turned Man United into world-beaters, his ball-holding ability makes him an asset to the team, Ferdinand explained.

“It’s shocked me to see what he’s done,” the former defender said. “Listen, we’re not talking like he’s turned Man United into world-beaters, but United needed something, and he’s brought it in and given it, and that’s all you can ask for.”

According to him, if Ighalo plays alongside Rashford and Anthony Martial, his experience will help the duo become better in the long run.

He argued that “he’s warranted the opportunity to come in as a full-time player and what he’s given Manchester United which they didn’t have is someone they can pass the ball into and can hold it up, he’s got a physical presence, he can hold off a defender or two and lay the ball in for someone else to score.”

It ‘Feels Good’ Playing At Old Trafford I Used To Watch – Ighalo

Manchester United's Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo scores his team's second goal during the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Derby County and Manchester United at Pride Park Stadium in Derby, central England on March 5, 2020. Photo: Oli Scarff / AFP
File: Manchester United’s Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo scores his team’s second goal during the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Derby County and Manchester United at Pride Park Stadium in Derby, central England on March 5, 2020. Photo: Oli Scarff / AFP

 

Odion Ighalo has expressed joy at playing for Manchester United at the Old Trafford, saying it “feels good.”

The Nigerian forward who joined United on a six-month loan from Chinese Super League side, Shanghai Shenhua, has been in fine form for the English giants.

He has netted four goals in eight games thus far for the Red Devils and has on several occasions, described playing for the team he supported as a child as a dream come true.

According to the former Watford man, he used to go to event centres, and pay money to watch Manchester United matches back then in Nigeria.

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He was quoted on the club’s official website as saying that he first visited the Old Trafford in 2013.

Ighalo admitted that it was a surreal moment for him then as he was outside the edifice taking photos.

The striker, in 2016 while still on the payroll of Watford, finally played at the Theatre of Dreams, a moment he said “feels good.”

“And even now, playing for United? It’s making even greater moments for me,” the player said.

Speaking further, he recalled he had a Manchester United shirt but noted that his name was not written at the back because he could not afford it.

United are considering signing the Nigerian on a permanent deal at the end of his short stint.