‘Odion Ighalo not on Romelu Lukaku’s class’ – Garth Crooks tells Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been told by Garth Crooks that Odion Ighalo is not on Romelu Lukaku’s class.

Marcus Rashford suffered a back injury last month against Wolves in the FA Cup and is expected to be out of action until March at least, leaving Anthony Martial, Daniel James and Mason Greenwood as available senior forwards.

As such, the Norwegian boss believed a short-term signing would help keep United on track as they hope for a top-four finish and even battle for the FA Cup and the Europa League.

United were linked with several experienced strikers including Edinson Cavani, Mario Mandzukic and Bournemouth star Josh King.

But ultimately, the Red Devils settled with the former Watford forward on transfer deadline day – a deal that most Man United fans did not see as a suitable short-term signing, with Crooks blaming it an example of the mismanagement at United.

Manchester United had already offloaded Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan in the summer, with the latter banging goals in the Serie A for fun this season.

“Who sells Romelu Lukaku and replaces him (if only in the short term) with Odion Ighalo? Manchester United it would appear,” Crooks wrote in his BBC Sport column.

“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sold the Belgium international to Inter Milan and now finds himself in the middle of a striker crisis having lost Marcus Rashford, his most valued goalscorer, to a rather unfortunate but avoidable back injury.

Romelu Lukaku has been in top form at Inter Milan
Romelu Lukaku has been in top form at Inter Milan

“Ighalo is a proven striker made very much in Solskjaer’s image. Professional, a team player and most importantly just happy to be at the club of his dreams. But the Nigerian is not in Lukaku’s class, even if he is only on loan.

“This latest signing comes at a time when United fans have become increasingly frustrated by their team’s lack of impact on the Premier League title race.

“They are playing second fiddle to their noisy but very successful neighbours City and having their noses rubbed in it by arch enemy Liverpool, who are running away with the title. It just doesn’t get any worse than that.

“Such extraordinary indifference by those who own the club to what is clearly a crisis as far as United fans are concerned is starting to grate.

“This perceived contempt by the owners to the concerns of fans has erupted into threatening behaviour towards executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, when in fact the Glazer family are to blame – and guess what? Solskjaer and Woodward have been left holding the baby.”

Odion Ighalo joins Manchester United on loan from Shanghai Shenhua
Odion Ighalo joins Manchester United on loan from Shanghai Shenhua

The former Manchester United striker has regularly revealed that it wasn’t Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to offload him away from the Theatre of Dreams.

Even, it was claimed by the Belgian that he had already made up his mind to leave the Premier League before the start of this season, without obvious reasons.

The arrival of Solskjaer forced Lukaku to the bench and did only start as a right-winger, which Lukaku did not welcome lightly, provided he is a proven goalscorer as a centre-forward.

The Norwegian boss also hinted during one of his press conferences that he doesn’t regret his decision on selling Lukaku to Inter as he claimed he wanted players who their main focus is to play for the club.

Miracle Nwoke
He is an immense fan of the club since 2005. Miracle wonders where Man United would have ranked in the Premier League history if Sir Alex Ferguson wasn't given enough time to rebuild the team.

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