Manchester United’s decision to sign Odion Ighalo after selling Romelu Lukaku has been branded ‘mad’ by Watford striker Troy Deeney. Lukaku was sold to Serie A giants Inter Milan during the summer transfer window, with the Belgian proving to be a big hit in Italy so far. And Ighalo has scored four goals for United since his January arrival from Shanghai Shenhua.
Manchester United signed Lukaku for a huge £75million in the summer of 2017, with Jose Mourinho sure the striker would propel his side to Premier League glory.
The Belgium international had a good first season at Old Trafford, scoring 28 goals to fire the club to second in the table and to the FA Cup final.
But United sold Lukaku last summer with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deeming the 26-year-old surplus to requirements.
Since then, the Red Devils have signed Ighalo – who has scored four goals from eight games so far.
But Watford striker Deeney has hit out at United’s decision to offload Lukaku and bring Ighalo in as a replacement.
“The hit they took on Lukaku is mad, when you think about it,” Deeney told The United Stand.
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“They let Lukaku go and then they had to go and get Ighalo. Iggy has hit the ground running there, he will always score goals. But yeah, Lukaku?
“They’re both my boys. Look at his goal record. And what’s he paid to do? Score goals.
“When he was at Everton, ‘Ah, we need someone like him, he’d be great at United’ then you get him and it’s, ‘Ah, his first touch is bad’ but he scored like 60 goals, you know? ‘Nah, not good enough. His touch isn’t good enough.’
“It’s not what you’re used to. Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, [Teddy] Sheringham, [Ruud] Van Nistelrooy… these are all people you’re looking at.
“Even if you look at [Diego] Forlan, Forlan was sick as well… you can keep going, Michael Owen for that short time as well, and say this is what we’re used to seeing.
“‘Yeah, you score but we can’t put you in the same conversation as an Andy Cole. Andy Cole’s touch was better or was Andy Cole was faster’, it’s always going to be fighting back.
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“The problem is with social media now is everybody’s got an opinion. That’s the problem.”
Lukaku recently admitted he found criticism of his physique while at United difficult to take.
“One bad year can happen to everybody in their career. It was just done for me,” Lukaku said in conversation with Ian Wright for his YouTube channel.
“It was a difficult situation for myself. I had to make a decision.
“I had to go somewhere where I can learn other aspects of my game, work with somebody who wanted me. Yes [it bothered me that people were talking about my shape], it got to my head.”
Lukaku then opened up on how life at Inter differed to his time at United, adding: “Training is different, here you work hard. They work you hard.
“Speak to Ashley Young. There’s a lot of difference, here the team is the team, there’s like team bonding, we have two or three team dinners every three weeks, all together, nobody misses out.
“Everybody is there. Sometimes it is one player or two players, they’ll say I want to pay for dinner.
“We just kept doing it. The team is good, we have quality, but everything is about the team.
“When you see how we play, everybody works, we are the most aggressive team in the league.
“The manager puts it in us. Be aggressive and press, the physical preparation.”
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