25. Odion Ighalo – Season Review

Ighalo celebrating his crucial equaliser against Norwich City in FA Cup quarterfinals
(Image from Fussballtransfers)

Key Details:

  • Name: Odion Ighalo
  • Date of Birth: 16 June 1989 (31 years)
  • Signed: 31 January 2020
  • Appearances: 19
  • Goals: 5
  • Assists: 1
  • Contract till: 31 January 2021


Odion Ighalo joined his childhood dream club Manchester United on a 6-month loan from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua in January 2020. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, he couldn’t make most of his time but still played excellently whenever given an opportunity. So the Red Devils decided to extend his loan period for 6 months more that’ll see Nigerian striker playing for the Old Trafford side till 31stJanuary 2021.

It’s fair to say that no. 25 had a fairly good season at the club because he put in a good shift whenever being brought on as a substitute. The key elements to his game are his physicality, ball control, and creating perfect shooting opportunities. The Nigerian scored 5 goals and registered 1 assist in 19 appearances this season, in most of which he came on as a substitute. One of the most noteworthy goals was his strike against LASK, which ranked third in best Europa League goals ranking.

His experience plays a vital role in how he holds the ball and then finds the right space or right man. This can be beneficial for Anthony Martial as he can learn a thing or two from the 31-year-old.

All of his strengths can be seen in this short video –

The most important goal of Odion Ighalo came in the FA Cup quarterfinal against Norwich City. It was his equalizer against the Canaries that sent the game into extra time, which United went on to win and progress further into the domestic trophy competition before losing to Chelsea in semis. Pragmatically speaking, while Ighalo might not be the best backup striker, he has not committed any blunders either and done his duty well. So –

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Ambitions for next season 

Ighalo’s contract expires in January and then he will leave Manchester United with a sole striker remaining at Old Trafford, in Anthony Martial as things stand. Even if we consider that we’ll somehow get Jadon Sancho and then make Mason Greenwood our second choice of striker, we’ll again be out of squad depth on right-wing because then Sancho will be the sole right-winger (Dan James plays better on left as seen in all his United performances and in Wales jersey last night. Ole will probably shift him to left at United as well).

So, if Manchester United want to develop Greenwood as a striker, they should get a backup right-winger in January transfer window, and if they want to keep Mason reserved for the right-wing spot, they need to buy a backup striker. The latter seems to be the preferred choice of our gaffer Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as we have been trying to target strikers for quite some time now. To conclude – if club are ambitious about next season, they need to start scouting the right options for Striker position and get their man in January when Ighalo returns to Shanghai.

Author: TUD Author