Odion Ighalo’s loan move to Manchester United in January was met with a lot of uncertainty by the fans. Few months on, Ighalo is reportedly set to be signed on a permanent deal and rightfully so.
In stark contrast to the other January signing made by Manchester United(Bruno Fernandes), Ighalo’s arrival at Old Trafford was majorly received with pessimism. Many saw it as proof that United could no longer attract the top players.
Some others saw it as a desperate attempt to fill a void that shouldn’t have been left empty in the first place.
All that seems like a long time ago as the Nigerian has settled superbly into life in Manchester.
Rio Ferdinand, who was one of Ighalo’s biggest critics at the time, admitted that the ex-Watford man has proved him wrong. Ighalo has silenced his doubters, won over the fans and has most likely earned himself a permanent move in the summer.
He made his debut in a 2-0 away win at Stamford Bridge and nearly marked it with a goal.
However, he didn’t have to wait too long for his debut goal as ten days later, he found the net in a 5-0 home win against Club Brugge which happened to be his full-debut.
According to Transfermarkt, he has scored four goals and supplied an assist in 318 minutes (an equivalence of three-and-a-half full games) so far.
He has also shown that he’s more than a goalscorer as his ball-retaining ability and hold-up play suggest.
While he may not necessarily be a starting option, Ighalo has proven himself to be a more than reliable backup for Anthony Martial and a focal point for United speedsters to play off.
Daily Mail suggests that the deal could cost up to £15m and it would represent good value for money.
Ighalo must have thought that his dream of playing for his boyhood club was only going to last six months. It is now set to go on longer than he expected and he has only himself to thank.