Manchester United striker, Odion Jude Ighalo has received words of assurance from The Red Devils’ manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he will get every opportunity he needs to turn his loan deal into a permanent contract at Old Trafford, megasportsarena.com reports.
Heading into his first game with the squad he joined on loan in last month’s transfer deadline day from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua of China, Ighalo was assured by Solskjaer of enough backing from everyone at The Theater of Dreams to help him integrate fully into the team.
Solskjaer added ahead of Monday’s English Premier League fixture away to Chelsea that he will not put any pressure of Ighalo, who arrived at a time the club desperately sought a short-term replacement for injured Marcus Rashford, who is expected to be out until April.
While Bournemouth striker, Josh King was also considered by United, with The Cherries’ boss, Eddie Howe confirming an approach by The Red Devils, it was Ighalo that was chosen to arrive on loan, but Solskjaer says a full contract should not be beyond the 30-year-old striker.
Some critics, though, suggested that Ighalo was only a desperate last-ditch signing by United, particularly given their failure to grab Erling Haaland prior to his move to Borussia Dortmund of Germany, but Solskjaer dismissed that notion and is optimistic the new arrival will excel.
Solskjaer 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 if it’s a loan, if you impress as a player, if you impress as a person, if you can help this group improve, of course there’s a chance we’ll look at extending things.
“That doesn’t just go for Odion but, yes, his incentive is to play as well as he can and it’s up to us to make sure he wants to stay, if we want him. He’s a loan player that we’re very happy with having here. Hopefully he’ll prove to you what I think he will.
“He’s a proven goalscorer, so he’ll do all right. I’m very happy with the two guys we brought in and it’s not just us and Chelsea. But to finally have got Bruno [Fernandes] over the line, to have signed him after following him for so long, and just seeing what he can give us and what he will give us, has been great. And it will be great to integrate Odion as well.”