Manchester United Eyeing A Loan Move For This Ex-Watford Striker: Is Ole Making A Mistake?

Watford's Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo (R) vies with Swansea City's English defender Kyle Naughton during the English Premier League football match between Swansea City and Watford at The Liberty Stadium in Swansea, south Wales on October 22, 2016. / AFP / Geoff CADDICK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Sky Sports, Manchester United are looking to sign a striker to fill in during Marcus Rashford’s injury absence and have identified Shanghai Greenland Shenhua forward Odion Ighalo as a temporary option. The same source has also mentioned that the Red Devils are hoping to sign the Chinese Super League striker on loan before the end of this month.

Ighalo’s Impressive Spell In Chinese Football

The Nigerian marksman is currently plying his trade in China where he has made 72 top-flight appearances, scoring 46 goals while providing eight assists across all competitions. He decided to join Shanghai Greenland Shenhua from Changchun Yatai at the start of last year.

The 30-year-old has scored ten goals in 19 matches for the Chinese Super League outfit so far. He has averaged 3.9 shots, 0.9 key passes and 1.1 dribbles per game in the Chinese first division (stats via whoscored). Ighalo has also earned 35 senior caps for the Nigerian national side while registering 16 goals for the Super Eagles in the process. He has previous experience of playing in the Premier League from his time at Watford, so he shouldn’t have any problems setting into life in England if Man United can bring him to Old Trafford before the end of this month.

What Are The Nigerian International’s Best Attributes?

Ighalo has decent pace and can make some driving runs with the ball in the opposition half. He can read the game well, which allows him to take up some dangerous positions in the final third. The Super Eagles star can also be an ideal targetman as he can hold the ball up effectively to get others involved up top. 

Are Man United Making A Mistake By Going For Ighalo?

Therefore, a loan move to Man United could be a good fit for the player as he would have another opportunity to make a name for himself in English football. However, as far as the Red Devils are concerned, they would be making a huge mistake taking a gamble on the 30-year-old, who is past his prime and is yet to prove his worth at the highest level.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be a making a mistake if he signs Ighalo in January as the Nigerian won’t be able to solve his long-term problems in the striking department at Old Trafford. The Norwegian head coach should instead concentrate on bringing in a quality attacker, who can change their fortunes around for the better in the second half of this campaign.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.