Odion Ighalo joined the Red Devils on loan from the Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the season to bolster the club’s attacking options.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not ruled out a permanent move for Odion Ighalo in the summer if he impresses during his loan spell at Manchester United.
The 30-year-old’s deadline day arrival has raised questions over the club’s transfer approach, but Solskjaer has backed the striker to succeed at Old Trafford. And the United gaffer also challenged the Nigerian international to earn an extended stay in the club beyond the current campaign.
Solskjaer at his pre-match press conference said:
“It’s a loan, but when you’re in the door and if you impress it gives you a chance,”
“That’s exactly the same for everyone who signs if it’s permanent or it’s a loan. If you impress as a player, if you impress as a person, if you can help this group improve, then of course there’s a chance that we’ll look at extending things.
“That doesn’t just go for Odion, but since you asked, yes, of course his incentive is to play as well as he can. And it’s up to us to make sure that he’d want to stay if we wanted him.
“I think he’s probably pinching himself at times, because he’s now at his favourite club at the age of 30.
“Hopefully he’ll prove to you what I think he will. He’s a proven goalscorer, so he’ll do all right.”
The Nigerian wasn’t the only addition to our squad in January, after United signed Portuguese international Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon. The midfielder produced a Man-of-the-Match display on his United debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers and the boss is hoping he can build on that performance against Chelsea.
“I’m very happy with the two guys we’ve brought in,”
“To finally have got Bruno over the line, to have signed him after following him for so long, just seeing what he can give us and what he will give us, it has been great. It will be good to integrate Odion as well.”
Although qualification for Europe’s premier club competition is the aim this season, the manager still believes players will be attracted to Old Trafford, even if we finish outside the top four.
The manager said,
“It’s a prestigious tournament to be in of course,”
“If we play well for the rest of the season and players that we might want are impressed by that, it might be easier to convince them to come here.
“If we are with or without the Champions League next season, I wouldn’t say that’s the be-all and end-all for a player to sign for us.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 17, 2020