Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand admits he has been proven wrong by Odion Ighalo since he joined the club in January. Ighalo was a late signing on deadline day, penning a six-month loan deal at the club he has supported his whole life. The experienced striker had been playing in the Chinese Super League for Shanghai Shenhua.
United were mocked by fans of rival clubs following the signing of Ighalo, who struggled in his last season in the Premier League with Watford three years ago.
But the 30-year-old has scored four goals in his first eight appearances for the Red Devils, with only three of those being starts, and a permanent deal is reportedly on the cards this summer.
Ferdinand is delighted to see a player appear so happy to be playing for United but admits he is shocked how successful the signing has been so far.
Ferdinand said on Instagram Live: “All you people that were out there saying ‘No what were we doing signing Ighalo? What’s Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] thinking?’ – I was one of them, I have to admit it.
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“[I thought] Ighalo, he’d been in China, playing in China, the league’s nowhere near as good as the Premier League, how’s he going to get up to speed when he gets there? Is he going to be ready straight away? We need somebody to come and make an impact immediately. Coming from China, impossible.
“Well he’s proved us all wrong, this guy’s proved us all wrong.
“It’s refreshing to see someone who’s like a supporter, who’s thankful.
“He looks like he’s absolutely delighted to be at Manchester United.
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“He’s been a Man United supporter all his life, he looks like he’s saying thank you every day when he walks into Ole for giving him the opportunity.
“He’s not someone who looks like ‘actually, Man United are lucky to have me here’.
“That’s the vibe I’ve got [from United players] for a little while.
“And it’s not just Man United, it’s other clubs, I’ve seen it from players who are like ‘I’m doing you a favour’.
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“But this boy looks like to me ‘Yeah, I’m happy to be here and whatever you tell me to do, I’m going to go out there and try and do it to the best of my ability. I’m going to give you 100 per cent of sweat every day in training, in the matches, because I love this club and want to do right by this club’.
“I love it, it’s shocked me to see what he’s done.
“Listen, we’re not talking like he’s turned Man United into world beaters but I’m just saying Man United needed something and he’s brought it and given it and that’s all you can ask for.”
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