Odion Ighalo came so close to the perfect Manchester United debut.
United’s deadline day signing has only had one training session with his teammates, and so was on the bench at Stamford Bridge.
He came on with the game won at 2-0 and so nearly made it three, with a late shot blocked by Willy Caballero after he was put through on goal by Fred.
He came on in the 90th minute, with five minutes of injury time to be played. It was enough to have a little look at what he can offer.
While he did not score his chance, he showed good movement to get into position to score, linking up well with his new teammates.
Ighalo is a United fan and supporters were gutted for him that he could not fully savour a dream debut.
Ighalo was a surprise deadline day signing from Shanghai Shenhua, and when all is said and done, it is better to have the option to bring him on from the bench.
While his goal was lacking, he showed in his brief cameo an ability to hold the ball up and lead the line.
The striker had six touches in five minutes, which looks good by context of Andreas Pereira’s four in 15 on the pitch after he came on.
He is likely to be on the bench against Club Brugge on Thursday, but a first start could materialise against his former club Watford next weekend in the Premier League.
It was just the briefest of showings, yet Ighalo’s debut offered small signs that he could be an impressive contributor this season during his loan spell.
Here is a look at some more of the reaction to the Nigerian striker’s performance…
- Five wins from five Premier League games will secure United top four place
- The case for Manchester United pursuing reported target Ismael Bennacer
- Why Manchester United can pencil in a date for Teden Mengi’s first team debut
- Dishon Bernard shows how he has been training amid hopes for United call-up
- Greenwood recreates celebration in United training session