Odion Ighalo will play some part against his former club Watford tomorrow.
Manchester United are in need of a bounceback cup victory on Saturday evening. Suddenly, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s doubters are crawling back out of the woodwork. Which seems a little weird given how well we’ve played recently.
Anyway, I digress. We’re right back to it this weekend, with a pretty important cup game against Championship side Watford.
Given how strong Solskjaer went against Manchester City, you’d always expect to see changes made to the team for this one. That’s exactly what’s set to happen, it seems…
The gaffer would conduct his usual pre-match press conference earlier today. Confirming that forgotten United star, Odion Ighalo, will feature against Watford tomorrow.
Here’s what Solskjaer had to say on Odion Ighalo playing vs Watford:
“Odion, it’s special for him against Watford.” Solskjaer told reporters, including ManUtd.com. “He will be involved. He’s in the squad. He’s been training really well. I was just saying before, I don’t know how many goals be scored, but he was the top scorer by a mile in round robin we just had in training. So he’s not lost any of his sharpness or his quality.
“It’s been difficult for him to be out of the squad as many times of course, because he did really well up to the summer. This season he’s not had as many opportunities, but he’s never let himself down as a professional and a human being.
“In training he always works hard and he’s been a positive influence in the dressing room. He’s in the squad and hopefully I don’t need to put him on that we need goals, but hopefully he can join in.”
Watford is a club that gave Ighalo so much joy before his move to China and I don’t doubt it’ll be an emotional evening for the Nigerian striker.
With Edinson Cavani looking like an astute signing, Ighalo has barely been given the opportunity to make the bench, nevermind start games with regularity. He’s only featured in four matches this term, totalling just 157 minutes, scoring zero goals.
Could this be Ighalo’s farewell appearance?
His loan contract actually expires at the end of the month and this may well be the last time Ighalo pulls on that red shirt. So it certainly seems fitting that it comes against his former employers.
Credit to Solskjaer for understating that this moment is a nice one for Ighalo, too. It’s sometimes too easy to be fully focused on being that hard-faced manager when instead, he’s dealing with fellow humans who also have feelings. It’s just a nice touch.
I hope Ighalo is given the chance to start. It’d be the perfect end to a time in his life he’ll never forget. I, for one, will be cheering him on.
Go out there and enjoy it, Odion!