The loan agreement between Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo and Manchester United is set to expire on May 31. Recent reports suggest that the 30-year-old striker could leave club at the end of his loan spell this week, with parent club Shanghai Shenhua keen to have the striker back ahead of the start of the Chinese Super League season.
However, am of the opinion that Ighalo’s departure would be a huge blow for Manchester United. Thereare many aspects of Ighalo and his game that would be missed if he leaves the club.
This was a player so desperate to play for the club he has loved since his childhood that he took a pay cut do so. Despite all the negative statements fans made before his arrival, Ighalo’s passion for the club led him to making an immediate impact, scoring goals with unexpected regularity despite his role largely as a substitute in Solskjaer’s setup.
Rumor has it that Manchester United are already in the market for a new forward. And their potential target is RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner. It may not be a bad idea to get such a young talented forward, but why go for him when you have people like him?
Manchester United are blessed with a plethora of young talented forwards, the likes of Daniel James, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial. Those players have the potential of becoming top players with the right guidance. But they need the experience of a player like Ighalo to reach that height.
Ighalo is a natural finisher, his composure, positioning, hold-up play and techniques are what some of these young forwards lack. At 30, the striker still has a lot to offer.
I think It would better for the club to keep him for one or two more years instead of going for another young striker who may likely take some time to fit into the United’s system.