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Keane: Ighalo’s Arrival At Man United Has Pushed Martial To New Heights

Keane: Ighalo’s Arrival  At Man United Has Pushed Martial To New Heights

Manchester United legend Roy Keane has credited Odion Ighalo for igniting a ‘reaction’ out of Anthony Martial, with the Frenchman getting on the scoresheet in United’s 2-0 Premier League win in the Manchester derby.

Since Ighalo’s arrival in January, Martial has scored in three of their last five league games as he’s stepped up in the absence of Marcus Rashford.

Bruno Fernandes’ inventive free-kick enabled the striker to break the deadlock on the half hour at Old Trafford on Sunday, with Ederson somehow allowing his shot to squirm under his body.

And Keane believes the Nigerian’s presence has pushed Martial to new heights.

Speaking after the game, he told Sky Sports: “You’ve had a reaction as well from Martial.

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“Sometimes a new striker comes in, you praise the new striker, but then that pushes the other lads.

“There’s almost been a reaction from Martial, thinking: ‘Oh, I’ve got another player to fight with for my position’. And there’s been a good reaction.”

Ighalo came on in the closing moments of the match and was involved in Scott McTominay’s stoppage-time strike.

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  • Ighalo continues to have positive impacts since his arrival at Old Trafford.

    These include:

    – Providing goal threats in the absence of injured strikers.

    – Providing link up (and hold up) play when he is not scoring goals like he did when he came on yesterday in the Manchester Derby.

    – Making Martial step up his game as alluded to by many Pundits.

    – Increasing the popularity of Manchester United among West African audiences.

    – Bringing the smile back to the face of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (whose faith in Ighalo’s inclusion continues to be rewarded).

    – Bringing a sort of feel-go factor back to Manchester United because of his charming personality.

    I follow Super Eagles players, not just only for their heroics for our dear national team, but also for the impact they make in club football.

    When players like Ighalo, Iheanacho and Osimhen (to mention but a few) do well for their clubs, it invariably robbs off positively – not only on Nigerian footballers – but on how Nigerian football in general is viewed by a global audience.

    I am only too happy that Ighalo’s all round performances for Manchester United has put Nigeria firmly on the footballing map as a nation that produces high calibre, level-headed players.

    Ighalo is a pride to the Super Eagles and our nation at large.

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