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Odion Ighalo has proven a surprise success at United

26 March 2020 | Premier League | Opinion
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Odion Ighalo has proven a surprise success at United

When Nigerian international forward Odion Ighalo arrived at Manchester United on-loan from the Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua the move was seen by some as a desperate signing from a club lacking senior attacking options.

The striker had moved to Changchun Yatai in 2017 from Premier League Watford, where he had endured a mixed spell in the English top-flight. He had enjoyed a prolific spell in front of goal with the Hornets, before a major drop off in form saw he labelled a one-season wonder.

He performed well for his first Super League club before moving to Shanghai Shenhua 2019. Reportedly his parent club are looking to tie the forward down to a new two-year deal worth around £400,000 per-week.

His performances and influential at United, however, may well mean that the Red Devils decide to make his move to Manchester a permanent one. The 30-year-old has scored four times in his eight appearances so far for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

However, it has not just been goals he has provided, as he has proven a good focal point for their attack.

With England forward Marcus Rashford sidelined through injury, United needed an extra forward who could hold the ball up and score a few goals. Ighalo has fitted the mould perfectly so far.

He arrived not expecting to start every game, which again was ideal for Solskjaer, as the Norwegian then had the option to rotate his forwards and use Ighalo as an impact substitute if needed.

It remains to be seen what will happen for the rest of the season. However, it now does not seem to be unrealistic that Manchester United may try and sign the Nigerian permanently.

Considering the reaction his signing received in January, it would be a major turnaround for the experienced forward.

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OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Liverpool 82 29 27 1 1 66 21 45
2. Manchester City 57 28 18 3 7 68 31 37
3. Leicester City 53 29 16 5 8 58 28 30
4. Chelsea 48 29 14 6 9 51 39 12
5. Manchester United 45 29 12 9 8 44 30 14
6. Wolverhampton 43 29 10 13 6 41 34 7
7. Sheffield United 43 28 11 10 7 30 25 5
8. Tottenham 41 29 11 8 10 47 40 7
9. Arsenal 40 28 9 13 6 40 36 4
10. Burnley 39 29 11 6 12 34 40 -6
11. Crystal Palace 39 29 10 9 10 26 32 -6
12. Everton 37 29 10 7 12 37 46 -9
13. Newcastle United 35 29 9 8 12 25 41 -16
14. Southampton 34 29 10 4 15 35 52 -17
15. Brighton 29 29 6 11 12 32 40 -8
16. West Ham 27 29 7 6 16 35 50 -15
17. Watford 27 29 6 9 14 27 44 -17
18. Bournemouth 27 29 7 6 16 29 47 -18
19. Aston Villa 25 28 7 4 17 34 56 -22
20. Norwich City 21 29 5 6 18 25 52 -27

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