The Nigerian forward produced a man-of-the-match performance at the Pride Park Stadium, scoring two goals in the Red Devils’ win
Rio Ferdinand believes Odion Ighalo offers a different quality to Manchester United‘s attack compared to Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.
The 30-year-old forward doubled United’s lead in the 41st minute, eight minutes after Luke Shaw’s opener. He later wrapped up the victory with his second effort of the night in the 70th minute.
Ighalo was in action from start to finish and Ferdinand who admitted to initially questioning the Nigerian’s move to Old Trafford, is now convinced by the quality he adds to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team.
“People and myself included were probably thinking Odion Ighalo, where does he fit into all of this?,” Ferdinand told BT Sport, per Manchester Evening News.
“If you have an opportunity to sign a player at the beginning of the January window, he is not the guy you are going to sign.
“But what he does bring is a point. A point where they can focus and play into him from the midfield. He offers the platform to run off.
“Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial want the ball in behind and not to bring people in.
“When the ball gets played into him [for the goal], if Rashford or Martial were there they wouldn’t have made themselves available like that.
“To be there first is great considering the pressure he is under. He’s in the centre of goal and he’s a physical presence. That’s what he adds to this team.”
With three goals after six games since his return to England in January, the former Manchester United captain praised Ighalo’s eye for goal.
“He should be [the number one trend]. He scored two goals and he knows where the back of the net is. He is doing all the right things. What this gives United now is flexibility. They have someone to play off,” he added.