New Manchester United signing Odion Ighalo has hailed new teammate Marcus Rashford as “one of the best” young strikers in Europe as he prepares to help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to cope without the Englishman.
Ighalo joined United from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua on the final day of the January transfer window to ease the loss of Rashford, who is expected to be out until April.
A temporary move, on loan until the end of the season, Ighalo will be expected to provide cover for Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood, as United look to return to the top four and compete in the FA Cup and Europa League.
Odion Ighalo joins Man Utd: Five things to know…
- Odion Ighalo has signed for Man Utd on loan until the end of the season.
- The Nigerian will help the club fill in for the injured Marcus Rashford.
- Ighalo believes Rashford is one of the best young players in Europe right now.
- Rashford scored 19 goals in 31 games across all competitions this season prior to his injury.
- Ighalo will join Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood as Man Utd’s attacking options in Rashford’s absence.
Although the move was met by some ridicule from opposing fans, Ighalo will bring valuable Premier League experience to United, having previously featured for Watford in the competition between 2015 and 2017.
After a wonderful Championship campaign to help Watford get promoted, Ighalo scored 16 goals in 37 games for the Hornets in the 2015/16 campaign. He was only able to add one more the following season, but the Nigerian did prove himself to be a handful for defences in England’s top flight.
This time around, Ighalo isn’t expected to be a starting option, but will most likely play back-up for the younger strikers. And the Nigerian has spoken highly of his new teammates, particularly Rashford, dubbing him one of the best young players in Europe.
“These players are great players,” he told MUTV.
“Greenwood is a very good player; young, very good left foot, I’ve watched some of his game.
“Martial is very skilful, he can do so much magic with the ball and Rashford I think is, for me, one of the best, if not the best, young players in Europe right now.
“He’s doing well, scoring goals; he’s fast, he has good technique. Unfortunately, he is injured now and hopefully I am looking forward to playing with him, because he is a good player.
“So, for me, it is just a plus to the team, to work hard with these guys and make sure we end the season very well.”
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Ighalo explains what he can bring to Man Utd
Being a United fan, Ighalo will have been following the club’s progress closely even during his stint in China. And, as a result, the Nigerian believes he has pinpointed how he can make a difference to the strikers currently at the club.
He added: “They have a striker that stays mostly in the middle, but Martial likes to come from the side, even Rashford and all that, so you need someone in the middle that can keep the ball, hold the ball, because I’ve watched so many United games.
“So they need a physicality there up front to keep the ball, to give and to make some movement, which I believe, if everything goes well, I can add to the team.”