Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand is of the opinion that the club should sign Odion Ighalo on a permanent basis.
The Nigerian international arrived at Old Trafford during deadline day of the January transfer window on loan from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, and has enjoyed a surprisingly good start to his spell at Man United, scoring four goals while providing an assist in eight appearances across all competitions so far.
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Ferdinand claimed that he has been surprised with the performances of the 30-year-old striker so far and feels that he deserves to be signed on a permanent basis.
As quoted by Goal.com, the United legend said: “Wow, eight games, three starts in that, four goals and one assist. Ighalo, do you sign him for Manchester United now? All the people that out there that were saying: ‘What are we doing signing Ighalo? What’s going on? What’s Ole thinking?’ – I was one of them, I have to admit it.
“Ighalo’s been in China, the league’s nowhere near what the Premier League is so how is he going get up to speed? Is he going to be ready straight away? We need somebody to come and make an impact immediately. Coming from China, impossible. Well, he’s proved us all wrong. This guy has proved us all wrong. It’s refreshing to see someone who is like a supporter, who is thankful.
“And I think 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.”
Ighalo’s performances for Manchester United so far have been much better than most people expected. With Marcus Rashford absent, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needed an attacker in his squad and the Nigerian international has so far done fine.
However, once Rashford returns, it could be tougher for the 30-year-old to receive game time for United if he’s signed on a permanent basis. However, if Ighalo does well once football in England resumes, other European clubs might be interested in signing him.