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Why Man United must splash £15m and complete a permanent deal for on-loan star

Odion Ighalo (Getty Images)
Odion Ighalo is set to be recalled by Shanghai Shenhua (Getty Images)

Why Manchester United must sign Odion Ighalo permanently this summer

According to the Times, Manchester United are keen to sign Odion Ighalo permanently from Shanghai Shenhua, but the Chinese club are unwilling to allow them to extend their player’s loan.

Odion Ighalo, 30, has been an instant hit for the Red Devils since arriving on loan during the January transfer deadline day. He has already scored four goals in three starts. However, the Nigerian striker’s loan deal with Manchester United expires on May 31 but is likely to be extended until June 30 because of the coronavirus crisis.

Odion Ighalo celebrates after scoring against LASK in the Europa League. (Getty Images)
Odion Ighalo celebrates after scoring against LASK in the Europa League. (Getty Images)

However, the report adds that Shanghai Shenhua want to keep hold of the 30-year-old and have slapped a price tag in the region of £15million on his head.

Meanwhile, Manchester United didn’t replace Romelu Lukaku after selling him to Inter Milan before the start of the season. Lukaku’s absence has been felt at times, with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford having endured injury-hit campaigns.

Martial missed the first few months of the campaign with a hamstring problem, while Rashford is set to be out until April following a back injury suffered against Wolves in the FA Cup.

Mason Greenwood’s breakthrough campaign has been special and as Rashford suffered a long-term injury in January, Solskjaer was left with very limited options up front. That’s when he decided to sign a striker during the winter market and in came Odion Ighalo as an attacking reinforcement.

Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates on the touchline. (Getty Images)
Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates on the touchline. (Getty Images)

Ighalo, a boyhood United fan, has become an instant favourite at Old Trafford. The centre-forward’s impressive performances have convinced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to make his stay permanent. Ighalo has scored four goals and provided one assist in his eight appearances for the Red Devils to date.

The Nigerian striker has found the net in every match he’s started for the Old Trafford outfit, scoring in wins over Club Brugge, Derby County and LASK. Ighalo isn’t just a goalscorer, but someone who can link up play very well in the final third and score goals from outside the box, as evident from his goal in the 5-0 thrashing of LASK.

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Odion Ighalo (Getty Images)
Odion Ighalo in action against Club Brugge in the Europa League. (Getty Images)

Ighalo has not only given United another attacking option but has also helped Solskjaer manage Martial’s game time carefully, use Greenwood smartly and cope with Rashford’s injury loss. Adding to this, the 30-year-old knew he would never be the club’s starter, yet, since coming in for Solskjaer, he has made it difficult for the manager not to use him.

Verdict

United must definitely look to sign a new striker in the summer but they must definitely keep hold of Ighalo. At 30, he still has a lot to offer and would be a shrewd acquisition at £15million. Not to forget, Solskjaer and co. would never find such a great backup for Martial and Rashford, and a player who will “give blood” in order to succeed at Old Trafford.

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