Other Strikers Can Learn From Ighalo – Solskjaer
Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has sang Odion Ighalo’s praises after the Red Devil’s striker scored twice in the 3-0 FA Cup fifth-round victory over Derby County on Thursday adding the other strikers in the fold can learn from him, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
Ighalo was a January surprise deadline day arrival at Old Trafford to much derision having spent the past three years playing in the Chinese Super League after a similar length spell at Watford
His first against Derby featured good improvisation, pouncing on a loose ball in the box before guiding it into the bottom corner while under pressure from both Derby centre-backs.
The second was a thumping finish into the roof of the net after his first effort was blocked on the line, although he did spurn the chance to complete his hat-trick in the closing stages, firing over the bar.
Solskjaer believes Ighalo is showing he is vital for the side as they deal with Marcus Rashford’s absence through injury.
“He is doing what it says on the tin and what we asked for when we signed him,” Solskjaer said.
“He is coming in, playing up front, and he’s a different type of striker. He scores, he gets chances every game and today he could have had another couple. I am very happy with him. It gives us a chance with Mason [Greenwood] and Anthony [Martial] to keep them fresh as well.
“He is experienced and he has scored goals all of his career. He is in and around the box, he reads it, he sniffs out where the chances will come. I think that striker is vital for a team.”
‘Other strikers can learn from Ighalo’
Despite his start to life in a United shirt proving better than nearly everyone expected – and it could have been even more impressive were it not for a magnificent Jordan Pickford save denying him the winner at Everton on Sunday – Solskjaer feels there is more to come.
At 30, Ighalo is the elder statesman of the United forward line and his boss thinks the younger strikers can learn from him and the physical test he provides for defenders.
“There is more to come,” Solskjaer added. “He will improve, he will get sharper and more used to us. I have no doubt that he will only get better.
“He has a physical presence. You can get the ball up to him and he can keep hold of it. It’s hard to be a central defender against him when he is looking for you first and he buys himself half a yard just by that movement.
“Sometimes our young boys, they are not used to that from the academy. They are used to, ‘You’re not allowed to tackle me’ almost. So, of course, I would like them to look at him and learn a couple of things.”
“When you get strikers in you want them to be happy and confident. Ighalo has come in here and of course we still have a few injuries and it is great for us to have Odion to call upon. He is a different striker for us and scores some good goals, there are not many who could dig that one out for his first.”
Solskjaer is confident of having captain Harry Maguire – who missed this with an ankle injury – fit for Sunday’s Manchester derby and says Ighalo could start that game.
“He has done really well so let’s see how we are on Sunday morning,” Solskjaer added.
United’s progress means that all eight remaining sides are from the top flight for only the fifth time – after 1894-95, 1895-96, 1995-96 and 2005-06.
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