Solskjaer heaps praise on Odion Ighalo after Europa League win at LASK

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has heaped praise on Odion Ighalo following the club’s 5-0 win over LASK in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16. The Nigeria international went into the game with three goals from two starts and he managed to continue the fine form with a goal and an assist at the Linzer Stadium on Thursday night.

Speaking after the game, Solskjaer was pleased with the contribution from the striker, who joined the club on a short-term loan from Shanghai Shenhua in the summer. He added to praise his contribution for the team and hinted that the marksman could be rewarded with a permanent contract at the end of the campaign.

He told: “Odion has done really well since he’s come in. He will improve and get better and has qualities we saw in him that we needed and they are qualities we will still need next season. He’s a goalscorer and a striker. He knows his job and what his role is in the team. He’s very good with his back to goal and a good link player, but best thing about him is his personality. He’s got the lot, really. He had three touches before he hit the ball and all were high quality to make space for himself. The strike on the half-volley was great timing, no-one would have saved that.”

Ighalo has earned limited gametime in the Premier League with Anthony Martial generally getting the nod ahead of him for the striker’s role. However, that has not been the case during the Cup games where he has been handed the chance to lead the line. So far, he has proved his worth with four goals and one assist from three starts and United will surely consider the option to sign him permanently when the transfer window reopens. Martial remains doubtful for the Tottenham Hotspur clash on Sunday after he suffered cuts on his shins. As such, Ighalo has a good chance of making his maiden Premier League start for United.