Odion Ighalo clinched a surprise move to Manchester United on transfer deadline day.
Ighalo was nobody’s idea of first choice, but on a loan deal until the end of the season there is little to no risk at all. We even came up with six reasons why the deal works.
It is certainly better to sign Ighalo for pretty much nothing, than the fee United reportedly wanted to pay for the striker four years ago.
Duncan Castles reported in the Sunday Times in January 2016 that former Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal wanted to pay £35 million for Ighalo after being impressed with his hot form at Watford.
United were unsuccessful
Spending £35 million on Ighalo in 2016 would have been far more controversial then, despite his form, than loaning him in now.
His form at Watford trailed off after that and he was sold to Chinese side Chanchung Yatai for £20 million one year later in January 2017.
Months later Van Gaal lost his job as United manager, despite a FA Cup win, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic was brought in by new boss Jose Mourinho to lead United’s attack.
One of the knock on effects of the failed move for Ighalo was that Marcus Rashford got his chance.
He was promoted to have a chance in United’s attack in February 2016 and seized his opportunity, making an instant name for himself.
Now Rashford’s injury has prompted a surprise move for Ighalo this month.
Ighalo, a United supporter, likely thought his only chance to join the Red Devils had passed him by.
Instead four years on he has a remarkable second chance, just for a few months on loan, to try and help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer win a trophy in his first full season as United manager.
Speaking to Sky Sports today after touching down in Manchester, the Nigerian striker spoke of his delight at the move.
He said: “It’s a dream come true because since I was a kid I followed and dreamt of Manchester United. But it is a reality now. I cannot say much more now until I get started.”
We are glad to have him on board, and hopefully he can add what has been missing in United’s attack since Marcus Rashford got injured.
He now has a couple of weeks to get up to speed before United’s next league game against Chelsea.
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