Odion Ighalo is in line to make his Manchester United debut against Chelsea on Monday (Picture: Man Utd)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer drops hint over Odion Ighalo role against Chelsea


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted Odion Ighalo will make his Manchester United debut against Chelsea on Monday from the substitutes’ bench.

An injury to top scorer Marcus Rashford prompted a desperate scramble for a new striker during the closing stages of the January transfer window.

United were linked with the likes of Edinson Cavani, but were ultimately forced to settle for the loan signing of Ighalo who joins from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the season.

The Nigeria international was forced to train back in Manchester while his new teammates enjoyed a warm weather training in Marbella this week as United followed strict health advice related to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Despite a less than ideal preparation ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge, Solskjaer remains confident the former Watford forward can make an impact against one of their main rivals for a top four place.
Odion Ighalo was forced to train away from Man Utd’s Carrington training base this week (Picture Eamonn and James Clarke)

‘Well, it didn’t take me too long… I didn’t have a training session to come on,’ said Solskjaer when asked if Ighalo would feature despite having hardly had time to meet his new colleagues.

‘As a striker you get thrown on out there and it might be he’ll have to come off the bench and get us a goal and he does whatever he’s done.

‘After the injury to Marcus Rashford, it has to be said, we needed another forward and when we got the chance to get Odion on a loan that was for us a goalscorer, top scorer African Cup of Nations last year.

‘He can help the club, he is a very professional player, good lad and will give something to the group.

‘I think he [Ighalo] is probably pinching himself at times, at his favourite club at the age of 30. But he’s earned that one and hopefully he impresses us so we can see him play.’