Since the announcement of former Nigeria international Odion Ighalo’s move to Manchester, fans have been eager to see what he will bring to the squad. The 30-year-old who landed in Manchester last week is said to have swung right into training mode and not going on a winter break with the rest of the squad. In order to make sure he doesn’t disappoint, Ighalo is sharpening his fitness and pushing himself to be ready for his possible debut against Chelsea.
Ighalo has reportedly taken up a double training session. He is training with Great Britain’s Olympic Taekwondo squad. It is believed he joined the Taekwondo squad to help sharpen his fitness level being he has not played competitively in months with the Chinese Super League in the off-season. The Taekwondo squad who are preparing for their 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo were said to have received Ighalo with open arms.
The forward has also teamed up with popular performance coach Wayne Richardson to help with his fitness. And according to Richardson, he is extremely impressed by the 30-year-old’s motivation and dedication to making an instant impact for the Red Devil’s in the coming months.
“From the moment he [Ighalo] has stepped through the door, he is one of the few players who has blown me away with his determination, drive, and willingness,” Richardson said.
“He’s been doing double sessions and we’ve had to hold him back a bit and monitor him because he has fire in his stomach as a professional” Richardson added.
With United’s top striker, Marcus Rashford out on injury, Ighalo understands the importance of what he must bring to the squad. Hence, him hitting the ground running to ensure he’s ready in time to live up to the Reds shirt. United are currently in Marbella enjoying their winter break and light training. While the squad soaks up some sun, Ighalo is working hard to be fit for the squad. With Richardson believing he will certainly be before the squad returns if he continues at the rate in which he is going.
“If we didn’t have this break we would have been raising eyebrows,” Richardson said.
“United are in a position now where they need someone now. Is there a right time or wrong time? He might have to hit the ground running due to injuries. By doing these sessions, he wants to hit the ground running and you can see that from the work he’s doing behind the scenes” Richardson added.
Ighalo will possibly make his debut for his boyhood club when they face top-four rivals, Chelsea. The showdown will happen on Monday, February 17 at Stamford Bridge and all eyes will be on Ighalo to see what he brings to the United squad.
The former Super Eagles star joined United on a six-month loan deal from Shanghai Shenhua. Ighalo, made news when he announced he took a pay cut to join his boyhood club and to fulfill his dream come true. United are currently at seventh place with 35 points, six points adrift of Frank Lampard’s men.