Ole Gunnar Solskjaer allowed the Belgian forward to leave Old Trafford in the summer without bringing in a direct replacement. But, the Nigerian star came in January to fill the void and captured fans hearts.
Odion Ighalo is everything – and a bit more – United expected from Romelu Lukaku before the former Chelsea ace departed for Inter Milan just before the season kicked off.
Ighalo sealed a stunning January move from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua, but there were doubts about his ability to succeed at Old Trafford.
However, the former Watford striker has laid those doubts to rest with three goals in seven appearances, including his brace in their FA Cup victory against Derby County last Thursday.
Almost as impressive was his eight-minute cameo in United’s 2-0 defeat of bitter rivals Man City on Sunday.
The striker worked hard, and there was one moment that impressed fans.
In the early stages of injury-time, an under-pressure Ighalo produced a perfect first touch from a David de Gea long ball before passing the ball off to Fred.
It was a moment that brought back memories of former striker Lukaku who was often criticized for his poor first touch and his penchant for giving away possession.
And United fans were quick to notice that Ighalo is much more accomplished in that department.
Dimitar Berbatov was th Bulgarian Ighalo
— The Stretford Pundit (@DezReport) March 9, 2020
Odion Ighalo >>>>>>>> Lukaku if you don’t agree go argue with your grandma https://t.co/8dVGk0ni7t
— Lumelezi Jr (@Lamilez) March 9, 2020
Odion Ighalo is the player Romelu Lukaku thinks he is. Pass it on.
— Jad (@JadSaad99) March 9, 2020
Ighalo is Lukaku but with better control
— abdul haadi (@ah_ganda) March 9, 2020
That was an orgasmic first touch control from ighalo. As much as I love Lukaku, I don't see him doing this. https://t.co/mw2j6lfeu1
— RJ.29_ (@rj29muplc) March 9, 2020
Ighalo's hold up play reminds me of how Lukaku played for us except Ighalo has a better first touch
— Ché (@UtdChe) March 8, 2020
Ighalo worth keeping even if just as a strong proper CF to close games out. Holds the ball up well and has a great first touch, unlike old Timberlands Lukaku
— BLACK BOXING REF GUY (@MU4485858558) March 8, 2020
Ighalo has produced more hold up play in 5 games than lukaku did in 2 years
— Sleemo (@16Sleemo) March 8, 2020
When Lukaku saw Ighalo’s first touch :))) pic.twitter.com/vVuRuvClbk
— Ezekiel Sunrise (@EzekielChibuik6) March 8, 2020