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Odion Ighalo: What the Nigerian striker will bring to Manchester United

Odion Ighalo is a name we thought we’d never hear about again. The striker that fired Watford into the Premier League with 20 goals in 35 Championship games. He then began life in the English top flight in terrific fashion, before quickly fizzling out. Then, when the Nigerian left for the riches of China, we thought he would be gone for the foreseeable future. Never would I have thought he’d be leading the line for Manchester United in 2020. Football is a funny game.

If you haven’t heard already, yes the Red Devils have identified the former Hornets front man to solve their striker crisis. With Marcus Rashford out for almost the rest of 2019/20, Ighalo has been brought on loan until the end of the season. The rumours to begin with seemed like paper talk and something The Sun would conjure up. But it’s reality. It’s not that the 30 year old was bad for Watford; just whether he’s the calibre of striker that United need.

Odion Ighalo in action for Watford

We’ll give you a run down on what he’ll bring to Old Trafford in what we assume is a short stay. Scenes if he’s good enough that the move becomes permanent:

Odion Ighalo – Style of Play

Though it’s the Chinese League, hardly the most competitive on the globe, Ighalo has been prolific in Asia. 46 goals in 74 appearances shows that he’s still got that striker’s instinct. Not to mention a stellar campaign for Nigeria in the African Cup of Nations last year, with 5 goals in 7 games. Even if it’s being shown against weak opposition, you can only hit what’s in front of you. The video will help jog your memory of how he shone at Vicarage Road.

Standing at 6ft 2in, the Nigerian international combines great physicality with blistering pace and a touch of finesse. The video highlights how, despite his stature, he’s actually very elegant in possession. Ighalo is comfortable on the ball. Backheels, scoop turns and just general ease when dribbling. Something that will certainly take the league’s defenders who haven’t seen him by surprise.

Not to mention the burst of pace that makes him so powerful. It’s not easy to bully Martin Skrtel and he did it with ease in that clip. Those who do remember Ighalo’s time in the Premier League will remember how he began in blistering fashion. 7 goals in 11 matches. But then went on a goal drought and subsequently left for China.

Better than you think…

His finishing in the video isn’t conventional as such, but he will put them away. Partly because he moves well and make intelligent runs. With Bruno Fernandes now behind him to provide the creativity, I’m sure Odion Ighalo will surprise a few people. Is he the long term solution? Of course not.

Odion Ighalo in action for Shanghai Shenhua

But I don’t think it’s as bad a signing as people are making out. He’s certainly better than nothing and low risk with it being only for 6 months. Watch this space…

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