How Ighalo revived Martial’s career at United

Speaking ahead of their match against Brighton, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed an interesting factoid regarding Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo.

While his deadline day move to United in January came as a surprise to many, his positive impact on the Red Devils has been manifold.

Ighalo has scored five goals in just 11 games, with only four starts. But in addition to his goal scoring, the Nigerian forward has been helpful off the field, serving as a mentor to Anthony Martial.

Ighalo, 31, is a seasoned veteran – having made his top-flight European debut in 2007 with Norwegian side Lyn. He has played most of his career in the number 9 role, while Martial has spent most of his career playing on the wing.

“Odion is a seasoned No 9. He’s played that position his whole career whereas Anthony has played more out on the wing,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports.

“Odion is helping on the training pitch, in terms of his movement, hold-up play and just being himself… Anthony’s learning off an experienced centre-forward.”

Ighalo recently made history for Manchester United when he scored against Norwich in the FA Cup. He became the second player to score in each of his first four competitive starts for the club. James Hanson in 1925 was the first player to do so.