The past six months have been mental.
Manchester United spent the January transfer window floundering around in search of a new striker and ended up settling for (and gettling ridiculed for) Odion Ighalo, only for the Nigerian to actually play fairly well following his arrival.
Then coronavirus took over the world and cast doubts over whether Ighalo would actually be able to finish the season at Old Trafford. But after weeks of negotiating and battling back from the brink of defeat, United have now confirmed that Ighalo will be staying in Manchester until 31 January 2021.
In 2019, if you'd have suggested that United fans would be celebrating a new deal for Ighalo, you'd have been laughed off the face of the earth.
Now, not so much.
The 30-year-old, who is a boyhood United fan, has made his love for the club abundantly clear, and that means a lot to fans. Having players who truly want to be United has been missing for a few years at Old Trafford.
Sure, he's yet to set the world on fire in the Premier League, but that's not the point. He's not there for that. Ighalo's job is to offer cover to the first team and get the job done in cup competitions.
With four goals in four cup outings to his name, he's done exactly that.
Not a single person will moan that ighalo’s staying, that says it all ???— Charlie Ryan (@Charlie__Ryan) June 1, 2020
Odian ighalo stays. ❤️❤️— Kelvinunited (@UnitedKelvin) June 1, 2020
It's not just the fact that Ighalo is sticking around that has got fans excited. Many have pointed out that this now means money doesn't need to be spent on another striker this summer, freeing up money for the rest of United's business.
Jadon Sancho? Kai Havertz? Kylian Mbappé? Pelé? The Earth itself? They could all be on their way.
Good news for United.— Scott Saunders (@_scottsaunders) June 1, 2020
Ighalo has been great since he's come in. Not the biggest pressing need to sign a new first choice forward when you've got Martial and Rashford.
Any summer funds should be spent addressing the areas of the squad that need most attention. RW, CM, etc. https://t.co/mjpL2D3I5G
The people saying the Ighalo loan is done to save the Glazers money are back out in force ? They fail to realise that this if anything increases our chances of getting Sancho as money now isn't needed to be spent on a backup ST's transfer fee & can be focused on the main targets— Daniel (@UtdApollo) June 1, 2020
Ighalo staying up to January means no hurry to sign a striker, Hoping all energy now goes to signing Sancho— Mwangangi. (@BM_Mutui) June 1, 2020
However, there are still some fans who aren't too impressed with the whole ordeal.
Does signing Ighalo mean that Timo Werner, Moussa Dembélé or another top striker is no longer on the radar?
When all of us are thinking about Werner, they do is extend Ighalo’s loan. Ready to play Europa again? Typical Woodward!! #manutd— Causall Vedder MUFC (@CausallVedder) June 1, 2020
Plus, there are still fans from rival clubs who think this is the funniest thing ever. After all, this is Ighalo we're talking about. United fans are getting excited about an ageing former Watford striker.
Even some United fans aren't happy with it, or rather they're not happy with Ed Woodward and Co.
So manchester united sold lukaku and now they are extending Ighalo's loan ???— scarface faisal (@scvrfvce__) June 1, 2020
I can't wait to see how this plays out
I remember when Man Utd used to have Ronaldo Rooney and tevez. Now united fans we are excited that ighalo is staying. Oh how the mighty have fallen?— einstein_Lucky (@einsteinLucky1) June 1, 2020
Manchester United fans celebrating Ighalo contract extension, how the mighty have fallen. Woodward and Glazers really succeeded in ingraining a mediocre mentality among the fans, ffs.— Rejit Mukherjee (@devilsgaurdian1) June 1, 2020
United fans: wErE gOinG to GeT sAncHo aNd HavErtZ— lui? (@cfclui) June 1, 2020
United: extend ighalo loan https://t.co/DS4Dj0DLZN
But at the end of the day, this is a reliable third-choice striker who cares more about the badge on the front of the shirt than the name on the back.
He's given his all for United so far and will continue to do so for the next six months, and it seems as though most fans are happy to see him stay.
Odion Ighalo gets an extension on his loan at Manchester United and it's really nice to see him getting longer at his dream club.— LUKE (@luke16taylor) June 1, 2020
Also, 4 goals in 8 appearances is a good record.
Source : 90min