Mark Hughes defends new Man United signing

Mark Hughes believes Odion Ighalo can play an important role for Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Photo: Sky Sports)

Mark Hughes believes that Odio Ighalo is the type of striker that Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs in his team.

The Nigeria international completed a surprise move to the 20-time English champions on transfer deadline day to bolster Solskjaer’s attacking options for the rest of the campaign.

Ighalo has spent the last three years in the Chinese Super League after he quit Watford to move to Changchun Yatai in 2017 after two and a half seasons in English football.

The 30-year-old scored 15 times in 37 games in his only full season in the Premier League in 2016-17.

The African striker will be tasked with filling the void left by Marcus Rashford in the Manchester United team after the England striker suffered a back injury last month.

And former Manchester United striker Hughes believes that Ighalo can play an important role in the Red Devils team.

“He will be covered in bruises, as he will have been pinching himself all day,” Hughes told Sky Sports.

“He’s the type that United need, whether or not that’s a long-term view Ole has in terms of where he wants to take the team.

“I’ve watched them on a number of occasions and I always feel they lack that physicality at the top end of the pitch, just to relieve pressure.

“When United won at City and were getting pressed hard, they needed an outlet to knock it up to a big man who could retain possession and resist challenges.

“Without that physicality, sometimes you can’t get out.”

Ighalo left English football for the Chinese Super League with a return of 39 goals in 99 games in all competitions to underline his ability to score goals in the Premier League.

The Red Devils have lacked a threat up front in their last three games after failing to score against Liverpool FC, Burnley and Wolves.

The new Manchester United signing could make his debut against Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge on Monday 17 February after their winter break.

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