Manchester United complete signing of Ighalo surprise loan

The former Watford forward is on his way back to the Premier League as the Red Devils signed him on a six-month contract.

Manchester United have loaned striker Odion Ighalo to Shanghai Shenhua on loan until the end of the season.

The Red Devils have started looking for an additional striker after seeing top scorer Marcus Rashford sidelined for three months with a serious back injury earlier this month.

The likes of Raul Jimenez, Edinson Cavani and Danny Ings have all been linked with moves to Old Trafford in recent weeks, but some surprise names have also started to pop up as the winter transfer deadline drew closer and closer.

United are said to have inquired about loan deals from Leicester’s Islam Slimani and Bournemouth striker Josh King, before former leader Watford Ighalo became their main target.

After successful negotiations on deadline day, Ighalo will arrive at Old Trafford for a short-term deal in the coming days with Solskjaer delighted to add to his attack.

“Odion is an experienced player. He will come and give us the possibility of a different kind of center-forward for the short time he’s staying with us, “he said.

“A great boy and very professional, he will make the most of his time here. “

Ighalo, a childhood fan of the Red Devils, played for Watford between 2014 and 2017, scoring 20 goals in 30 league appearances to help the team secure promotion in their first full season at the club.

He transferred that form to the Premier League the following campaign, contributing 15 goals to the Hornets’ cause as they managed to avoid the fall.

Ighalo, however, was much less prolific in his last season at Vicarage Road and ended up leaving the club to join Changchun Yatai in January 2017.

The Nigeria international has scored 36 goals in 55 appearances for the Chinese Super League club, before securing a transfer to Shanghai Shenhua last year.

Ighalo continued to find the back of the net consistently at the club level in 2019, while making his mark on the international stage.

He scored five goals in Nigeria’s race to the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations, including the game-winning goal in their third place in the playoffs against Tunisia.

United are hopeful that Ighalo can produce the same kind of form over the next few months as they fight for a place in the top four and in turn secure a return to the Champions League.

Solskjaer’s new signing is set to fly to Manchester from China in the coming days, meaning he won’t play Wolves at Old Trafford on Sunday, where Bruno Fernandes could make his January debut.

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