By Esther Babajide and Olanrewaju Akojede
Tunde Disu, a former Technical Director of the defunct Nigeria Football Association (NFA), on Monday said Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo would surely have a successful spell at Manchester United in England.
Disu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that Ighalo would be successful in view of his high level of performance at the various clubs he earlier played for.
NAN reports that Ighalo recently joined the English Premier League side on loan from Shanghai Shenhua in China for six months, with the former English champions having an option to buy.
Disu said Manchester United could not have made a mistake in acquiring Ighalo, adding that his successful spell at various clubs was a testimony of his impressive career.
“Ighalo should have meant something to a great club like Manchester United before they can move for him. He is a good (penalty) box player with a lot of energy.
“He is a type of player that does not miss a scoring opportunity, a penalty box player with proficiency like the late Rashidi Yekini and he is not an injury-prone player.
“Having played top-flight football before now, I think he should also be successful playing with Manchester United, I have no doubt about that because he is also athletic.
“Although Ighalo now have a tougher assignment because of expectations from a top club like Manchester United, I am hopeful that he will do well,’’ he said.
The 30-year old Ighalo had previously played for Julius Berger of Lagos in 2006, where he started his professional career.
He then proceeded to play at Lyn Oslo in Norway and Udinese in Italy from 2008 to 2014.
The versatile striker moved to Spain where he played for Granada and Cesena on loan, before moving to Watford where he was also on loan before being acquired by the club.
He later moved to China where he played for Changchun Yatai and then Shanghai Shenhua.
Disu however said the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) highest goalscorer needed to understudy other established Manchester United players such as Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford to succeed.
“Ighalo is also a tough striker, but he needs to understudy those before him, players such as Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial who are a bit fast.
“I know that he shoots well and he is strong for opponents, but he needed to also help in the defence as well or sometimes come to the midfield to take the ball for attack.’’
Disu who coached the Flying Eagles to a second place finish at the 1989 World Youth Championship in Saudi Arabia however said he was hopeful Ighalo would return to the Super Eagles.
“I really didn’t like it when he retired from the national team and I hope he will rescind his decision if he gets a call for the coach, Gernot Rohr.
“For Manchester United, he is the type of striker they need and I hope that he will justify the faith they have in him. Also, for Nigeria, he is our type of player,’’ he said.(NAN)