Manchester United fans could finish the season without the services of loan signing Odion Ighalo. The Nigerian international was a surprise signing on deadline day. Fans viewed this as a panic signing and raised questions on Ighalo’s ability to adapt to the rigors of the Premier League after 3 years in China.
The striker was not permitted to travel with his new teammates for the warm weather camp. This was due to travel restrictions being imposed in England. Ighalo who admitted to visiting the iconic stadium and dressing room as a fan trained alone as he was determined to do his best in the iconic red shirt. “It is a dream come true to be playing for them now,” said Ighalo.
The 31-year-old notched up 4 goals in 3 starts for his club. This ensured that the injured Marcus Rashford was not missed.
The Premier League season was suspended amidst Coronavirus fears. The suspension was extended from April 3 to April 30. At that point, Ighalo’s loan deal will have 2 months left.
The League’s exact resumption date is yet to be revealed. With the EUR0 2020 postponed one expects the ongoing club seasons to extend well into the summer break. This could pose a problem to teams who have players winding down their contracts. Willian, David Silva, Jan Vertonghen, Pedro and Adam Lallana are other big names whose contract expires on the 30th of June.
Ighalo’s potential departure is problematic for his side. This is because they will dearly miss his experience at the business end of the season.
Mancunians can take heart from Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s sudden change from interim manager until the end of the season to the permanent manager. Ed Woodward can redeem himself in the eyes of fans if he manages to strike a deal ensuring the services of Ighalo until the end of the season.
Manchester United will have Marcus Rashford back by June. But it seems doubtful that the England international will be ready to jump into the fray amidst a tight battle for the final Champions League spot.