Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand has jumped in on the debate about Odion Ighalo’s future following his brilliant start to his career at Old Trafford.
The Nigerian striker was a surprise signing over the January transfer window with many doubting if it was a wise decision, even though it was just a loan move.
Ighalo has since won over fans with great performances but also because of his love for United.
Having been playing in China, most had anticipated the former Watford man would fail to transition back to a more intense league in the form of the Premier League.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been proven right yet again in terms of his transfers and has not gotten one wrong so far.
According to Manchester Evening News, Ferdinand said: “Wow, eight games, three starts in that, four goals and one assist. Ighalo, do you sign him for Manchester United now?
“All them 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’s he gonna get up to speed? Is he gonna 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.
“He looks like he’s absolutely delighted to be at Manchester United. He’s been a Manchester United supporter his whole life. He looks like he’s saying ‘thank you’ every day he walks up to Ole for giving him this opportunity.
“He’s not someone who says ‘Manchester United are lucky to have me here’ – that’s the vibe I’ve got for a little while and that’s not just United, that’s other clubs as well.
“This boy looks like he’s happy to be here: ‘Whatever you tell me to do I’m gonna go out there and do it to the best of my ability. I’m gonna give you 100 per cent every day in training and in matches because I love this club and I want to do right by this club’. I love it.
“It’s shocked me to see what he’s done. 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.
“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.”
Although there are signs Ighalo will be useful to Manchester United, there’s no real reason to rush a decision just yet.
The call has to be made based on what Solskjaer finds in the market this summer.
Should no realistic targets be found, then perhaps signing Ighalo, on certain conditions, would be a good move.
United could offer him low wages and a short contract and the deal would then be considered a good one.