74% of Manchester United fans think Odion Ighalo’s loan move should be made permanent.
A Facebook poll of over 6,000 fans has revealed an overwhelming majority who believe United should stump up the reported £20 million required to sign the Nigerian on a permanent basis after Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua refused to extend his loan until the delayed end of the season.
Ighalo was a last-minute January transfer window loan signing that came about because the Chinese Superleague was in lockdown due to the coronavirus at the time.
The 30-year-old quickly turned into a cult hero at Old Trafford, scoring four goals in three starts before COVID took its toll on the English game as well.
With the player reportedly prepared to take a pay cut to stay at United, the club he has supported since he was a child, fans were asked whether they thought it was good business to sign him on a permanent deal rather than see him disappear back to China without playing another game.
Comments in favour of signing Ighalo included:
‘United know that Ighalo is desperate to stay and … the player himself will take extra measures to force his way … I even see Ighalo buying himself for Man United……..they can negotiate and could get him for less. He still has 2-3 years to offer, giving Mason [Greenwood] more time to mature.’
‘£20m is nothing in today’s transfer market and he has already shown his value in the short time he has been at the club, especially in the cup competitions. At the age of 30, he’s still got 3 or 4 good years ahead of him.’
‘Give him a chance, the passion and dedication he has showed is fantastic. Not to mention he has performed very well on the pitch.’
‘He scored four goals in eight games after not playing for us before and coming in at the last minute. He settled in immediately. I’d like him to stay for a couple of years and see how he can give us the big target man we miss.’
‘For 20 mil I reckon bring him in. He’s played very well in the games he’s featured in but it’s the heart and motivation for the club I’d like to know is around the other players.’
‘With the impact he has made this short period, I think we should buy him.’
Comments from those who voted not to sign him included:
‘Too old for us. Yes, he’s a good finisher etc but the money could be invested elsewhere. For example we signed James for £17 million so the money could be put into a young player. Plus his wages would be massive too.’
‘Can get many strikers around 20 to 26 for this price or a little bit more. He’s done well but we are meant to be building a future, not carrying someone for a year or two.’
‘Loved seeing Ighalo, loves the club and his dream to play for us but £20 million is money to secure someone long term and in the current climate with no idea when football returns probably best at this time to leave him to go back to China unless he can negotiate his own way out of there.’
With Ighalo’s loan deal expiring this Sunday, the Red Devils do not have long to make a decision about the player’s future. He is currently training along with the rest of the United squad and waiting along with everyone else to see whether there is another twist in this strange football tale.
United might have to finish their Premier League season at neutral grounds as the authorities try to ensure player safety. How much do you know about those neither-home-nor-away games the Red Devils have played in the past? Take our quiz below to find out.