(Reuters) - Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo is fulfilling all the expectations of the Premier League club when they signed him on loan and the Nigerian will only improve as he gets used to his new team mates, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.
The 30-year-old, who took a pay cut to secure a loan move to Old Trafford from China’s Shanghai Shenhua in January, netted a brace in Thursday’s 3-0 FA Cup victory over second-tier Derby County that sealed a spot in the quarter-finals.
Boyhood United fan Ighalo has taken his tally to three goals from two starts in the absence of injured first-choice Marcus Rashford, earning praise from Solskjaer.
“He’s doing what it says on the tin and what we asked for when we signed him...there’s more to come. He’ll improve, he’ll get sharper and more used to us. I have no doubt,” Solskjaer told a news conference.
“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’s looking for you first and he buys himself half a yard just by that movement.”
Solskjaer said United’s young strikers can learn how to deal with defenders from the robust Ighalo, who will remain with the club until the end of the season.
“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,” Solskjaer said.
United, who are fifth in the league, host local rivals and defending champions Manchester City on Sunday.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez