Rio Ferdinand: What I really think of Odion Ighalo at Man United
Rio Ferdinand has his say on Odion Ighalo's move to Man United in the January transfer window
Rio Ferdinand has explained why he thinks that Odion Ighalo will end up being a good signing for Manchester United.
The Red Devils opted to sign the Nigerian from Shanghai Shenhua on a six-month loan deal in the January transfer window as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looked to bolster his options up front.
The 30-year-old announced himself to the Manchester United side with a two-goal haul in the Red Devils’ 3-0 win over Derby County in the FA Cup fifth round on Thursday night.
Ighalo has been drafted in to provide cover for the likes of the injured Marcus Rashford, who is currently sidelined with a back problem.
Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand has admitted that he was slightly confused about the signing of Ighalo at the turn of the year but now says he understands where the forward fits into Solskjaer’s plans.
Speaking on BT Sport on Thursday night, Ferdinand said: “People and myself included were probably thinking Odion Ighalo, where does he fit into all of this?
“If you have an opportunity to sign a player at the beginning of the January window, he is not the guy you are going to sign but what he does bring is a point.
“A point where they can focus and play into him from the midfield. He offers the platform to run off. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial want the ball in behind and not to bring people in.”
Speaking over footage of one of Ighalo’s goals on Thursday, Ferdinand added: “When the ball gets played into him, if Rashford or Martial were there they wouldn’t have made themselves available like that.
“To be there first is great considering the pressure he is under. He’s in the centre of goal and he’s a physical presence. That’s what he adds to this team.”
Ighalo will be hoping to feature for Manchester United when the Red Devils take on Manchester City in the derby showdown at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday.
Manchester United are currently fifth in the table and three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea FC.