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Ferdinand: I Was Wrong To Underrate Ighalo

Ferdinand: I Was Wrong To Underrate Ighalo

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand admits he was wrong about Odion Ighalo and says the Nigerian’s hold-up play offers the side something that neither Anthony Martial nor Marcus Rashford can provide.

The former Watford ace made it three goals in two starts for the Red Devils with a brace in the side’s 3-0 FA Cup win against Derby County on Thursday night.


United were widely mocked for their deadline day capture of the Nigerian and he certainly wasn’t the club’s first choice given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s pursuit of Erling Haaland and Joshua King.

But Ighalo has dumfounded public opinion and his clear love for the club has endeared him to supporters, who have already taken him into their hearts.

Zenith Ziva

And Ferdinand admits that he’s been won over by the Nigerian because he offers a different dimension to both Rashford and Martial.

‘People and myself included were probably thinking Odion Ighalo, where does he fit into all of this?’ said Ferdinand.

Read Also: Solskjaer Thumbs Up Ighalo’s Performance In FA Cup Win Vs Derby

‘If you have an opportunity to sign a player at the beginning of the January window, he is not the guy you are going to sign but what he does bring is a point.

‘A point where they can focus and play into him from the midfield. He offers the platform to run off. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial want the ball in behind and not to bring people in.

‘When the ball gets played into him, if Rashford or Martial were there they wouldn’t have made themselves available like that,” he said over footage of his goal. To be there first is great considering the pressure he is under. He’s in the centre of goal and he’s a physical presence. That’s what he adds to this team.’

With Martial struggling with injury, Ighalo could be handed his first Premier League start in the Manchester derby on Sunday.

United are unbeaten in their last nine matches but City represent the greatest test of that run and they’ll be looking to consolidate second place behind Liverpool.

Harry Maguire faces a race against time to be fit for the clash at Old Trafford after missing the win at Pride Park with an ankle injury.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James are also doubts.

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  • All what am saying is the sum of players marketability to it attraction is proportional to the attraction of super eagle an a team n brand,which will bring ease of attracting high profile friendlies on a 50,50 basic. Pls let us all visit FIFAINDEX.COM and vote and like our players template so to attract scout an agent an also improve their rating for a better fifa ranking for the SE. Note a lot of managers, club scout go to the hidden paradise website of fifa to scout over players with the higher vote, and template likeness. Brazil, Argentina and European countries are currently topping the vote spree. Let visit fifaindex.com and used our Nigeria social media ability to like and comments on our players module/ template as true fans. Thankyou

    • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

      Hehehehehe….bros wake up. Enough of playing video games. Wake up to reality.

      I just checked on that site and it has nothing to do with world soccer governing body FIFA apart from sharing part of its name and using some of its copyrights and trademarks. Its purely for gaming and built by/for EA sports FIFA20 and other versions of their program.

      Voting on a website doesnt improve players’ values. Performance on the pitch does. If all 200m nigerians vote for Osimhen and he doesnt score goals anymore for Lille, his value will drop, neither will our fifa rankings improve, nor our brand be more valuable if we vote on that website and not qualify for AFCON 2 times in a row.

      Wake up to the real world….!

    • @ Ekpe that your voting n marketing thing is not for honesty. We must never ever miss politics with sport. Everything about voting is politics, as d corrupt nature of man will get them to start canvassing for others to vote for their mediocre elements, even going as far as using money. That’s absolute nonsense. Remember the nature of man is desperately wicked to the satisfaction of self

  • _ Odion I-goal-or _

    It was like an April Fool’s joke to many British former players, managers and pundits when Manchester United announced that they intended to bring Super Eagles legend Ighalo to Old Trafford.

    But, they soon realised 2 things: 1, it wasn’t April but January and 2, Manchester United were dead serious about bringing the Afcon 2019 highest goal scorer to Old Trafford.

    Former Crystal Palace controversial coach Neil Warnock was among the detractors.

    “I’m not sure he’s the right player for United.” Said Warnock at the time.

    “He’s not consistent and isn’t the right type of player; it is desperation”. He observed.

    I remember sometime ago when the same Warnock insulted Senegal World Cup legend El Hadji Diouf when he said: “For many years I have thought he (Diouf) was the gutter type – I was going to call him a sewer rat but that might be insulting to sewer rats. I think he is the lowest of low”.

    Diouf for his part didn’t hold back in his response as well by saying:“Who is Warnock? He’s nothing to me.

    He’s not Alex Ferguson, he’s not Arsene Wenger, he’s not Sam Allardyce or an important manager.

    I know he doesn’t like me, but it’s the same for me too – I don’t like him.”

    Fast forward many years later and the same Warnock – who indeed never rose to the heights of great coaches like Alex Ferguson and Arsenal Wenger – is now being proved wrong on his initial toxic veiws on Ighalo’s move to Manchester United.

    Rather than reply them in the pages of newspapers verbally, Ighalo is letting his performances on the field of play do all the talking.

    After being an initial doubter, Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand said (in the article above): “He’s in the centre of goal and he’s a physical presence. That’s what he adds to this team.”

    Two goals yesterday and the manner of those goals have left many to rethink their former positions on Ighalo.

    Throughout his career, the former Super Eagles star had had to prove doubters wrong.

    From what I saw yesterday, he does not intend to stop defeating detractors on the field of play and on the pages of newspapers.

  • You don’t f..k up with the Nigerian spirit. About 200 million people projecting their energy towards someone isn’t a mere say. Only safe for that energy to be positive. Just a shame we ain’t doing same to politicians n criminals in our country, as in that aspect, we become very selfish, putting self interest ahead of a common goal.

    • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

      “….About 200 million people projecting their energy towards someone isn’t a mere say…”

      My brother, when those 200m people also include orphans and widows whose livelihoods depend on that 1 man. Woe betides anyone who hates on that man o. Lolz

      • Lolzz….my bro. Nawa ooo. Even deliverance go waka leave that person o. Hikiaa…

  • @ Ekpe that your voting n marketing thing is not for honesty. We must never ever miss politics with sport. Everything about voting is politics, as d corrupt nature of man will get them to start canvassing for others to vote for their mediocre elements, even going as far as using money. That’s absolute nonsense. Remember the nature of man is desperately wicked to the satisfaction of self

  • Asoko Emmanuel 2 years ago

    @Deo great one there.At this juncture the question that readily comes to mind is, can a sane nation with a sane Coach and FA leave out from its national team a player of Igalo’s caliber?

    When Igalo announced his retirement I was one of those who said there was absolutely no reason why he should be going into retirement at that time.The reason for my reasoning was that despite his age Igalo is playing the best football of his life albeit in China.Few months later credence was further laid on my reasoning with the snaping of Igalo by one of the best clubs in the world.You see whether u like them or not Man U is traditionally one of the best clubs in the world, I don’t mean some that stumbles in and out of it,they are up there even though they may suffer set backs sometimes and which big club doesn’t . For Igalo whom some people said is fin8shed to be playing at one of the best clubs around means a lot.I don’t want to mention names,some players with all their glamour did not get to play for Man U which is a plus for Igalo.

    Whether you accept or not Igalo is not only the best 9 in Nigeria presently but also the best 9 in Africa.So how on earth do u leave out the best 9 in Africa playing for one of the best clubs in the world from your team.For the avoidance of doubt this guy turned down an offer to play for Barcelona cos to his mind he will not be guaranteed sufficient playing time.It is not a mean feat to be Cutted by the best team in the world.

    What will Igalo bring to the national team? Rio Ferdinand was made to take back his words on Igalo not being the right man for Man U,when he said he brings something different to the team which Martial and Rashford don’t have.And that is stability in the attack. His hold up play is special.I washed again and again the winning goal scored by Iwobi against Cameroun at the last Afcorn and I concluded that Igalo who provided the assist and not Iwobi scored the goal.From the release of the ball to Igalo from the mid field to the way he turned and opened up the Camerounian defender to release the pass to Iwobi shows intelligence.Sentiment aside there is no better time to have Igalo in the SE than now.

    Finally,don’t get me wrong the SE is endowed with world class strikers but, the same way the inactive Gouroud is constantly invited by the French coach cos of his understanding of football, same way the active Igalo should be brought in inspite of the players in team cos at the end the team will be great for it.

    • You have to mention a player that should be out for ighalo presently and not just clamouring for his inclusion.

    • greenturf 2 years ago

      Nice posts @ Asoko Emmanuel,but i would rather Ighalo to focus on his club football.
      As good as he’s now he seem not to be a tournament fortunate player.Especially for Nigeria.
      The strikers we have now Dessers,Nacho and Osimhen are reliable front men so i would rather we continue to improve with this ones willing and desirous to excel with the super eagles.

  • I’m really happy for Ighalo,he is proving all doubters wrong.Even if M.united didn’t buy him at the of the season ,if he keep his goal scoring form,another premiership team will go for him.I wish him nothing,but the best.where is omo Niger?I remember vividly how he criticized our coach for using Ighalo as our top man during Afcon.