Manchester United Looking To Extend Loan Deal For Forward: Ole Should Keep Him Till End Of Season

Odion Ighalo of Manchester United applauds fans after the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg match between Club Brugge and Manchester United at Jan Breydel Stadium on February 20, 2020 in Brugge, Belgium. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

While Manchester United’s hunt for a marquee signing continues, the recent promise shown by the team has made the board realise the value of keeping the squad intact. It is true that in the long term the Red Devils need a striker to lead the attack, but the fact that Odion Ighalo has done well for the team and the club just before the halt of the league should make the gaffer ask for an extension of his loan spell.

Marca reports that the club wants an extension of the loan deal as they want to keep the Nigerian beyond June. The striker has been brought on loan from Chinese side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, the tenure of which was set to expire next month. However, if an extension of the loan is made, Ighalo could be in Manchester to take part in the Premier League, as and when it returns.

The return of Rashford

Marcus Rashford had mostly been leading the Man United attack this season with Martial’s indifferent form, and he was supposed to continue doing so till the end. However, a back injury against Wolves cut his campaign short, leaving the manager in a troublesome position. That prompted the board to rope in Ighalo from China in a loan deal, who has scored four times in 8 appearances across all competitions since his arrival.

Now there has been some positive news for the Mancunians as Rashford has returned to training and it is expected that the England international would be fit enough to take part in the remainder of the season, once it resumes. Moreover, United are in contention to be in the top four and hence the contribution of Rashford could prove to be essential in their quest for Champions League football next season.

Marcus Rashford (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal
Manchester United’s English striker Marcus Rashford (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Leicester City at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 14, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP / Getty Images)

Do United need Ighalo with Rashford in the ranks?

The Red Devils are currently in the fifth position, just 3 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea playing the same number of matches. There is no scope for Ole Gunnar Solskjær to let his guard down and give an upper hand to the London side.

Therefore, even with Rashford in the side, United should keep hold of the 30-year-old forward for the remainder of the season. Man United are set to face the likes of Spurs and Leicester upon resumption of football and having another forward in the ranks should always be a help.

Moreover, Ighalo has performed pretty decently for the side until now, and with both Rashford and him in the squad, the Norwegian gaffer would have the option of playing two strikers at the front. While there was the option to start Martial and Rashford upfront at the same time, this combination has not really clicked for the Mancunian giants. Accordingly, the Nigerian should continue to be at Old Trafford for the time being and make a decision on his long term future after the season gets over.