Manchester United’s move for Odion Ighalo has caused a split reaction, with critics outside the club piling in.

He was not anybody’s first, second, or third choice, but he is here now and he can make a difference.

It was so important United did sign a striker, and Anthony Martial’s listless performance against Wolves showed why.

Ighalo could be a big help in United securing a top four place. At the expense of rivals who failed to sign a striker.

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Biggest STAR Your Club Are Trying To SIGN This Month

Chelsea and Tottenham failures

When looking at what United did do, it’s important to place it in context of what our closest competitors did not do.

Tottenham reportedly tried and failed to sign Ighalo, The Mirror reported, with the Nigerian striker determined to join his boyhood club.

Their failure to add a striker was bizarre, with Harry Kane out injured for an extended period just like Marcus Rashford.

We signed cover, and they didn’t. It could prove decisive at the end of the season if Ighalo starts contributing.

Chelsea also failed to add a striker, or any players, in the transfer window.

The Times reported they made an offer for Edinson Cavani but were snubbed by the striker.

They are reliant on Tammy Abraham, and while they kept Olivier Giroud, he was left out of their matchday squad at the weekend.

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The race is on

United’s poor form is only matched by the near equal inconsistency of our rivals.

Chelsea are six points above us, with Tottenham two in front. Wolves and Sheffield United are in the mix too, but you have to consider that it will be the former two who are our biggest threats come the end of the season, if our own form will hold up.

The next game is crucial. United face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. A third successive victory over Frank Lampard’s side this season would cut the gap to three points.

Perhaps Ighalo will be ready to contribute straight away and have a decisive impact.

If not, there will be 12 more Premier League games remaining to show Chelsea and Tottenham that a striker is better than no striker.

United could easily have turned their noses up at Ighalo. That would have been a mistake, especially as it would have left him free to join Jose Mourinho at Tottenham.

Instead his dream move to Old Trafford could make all the difference come May.

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