Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has admitted that he was wrong about doubting Odion Ighalo’s suitability for the Red Devils.
Ighalo’s surprise deadline day transfer to United on a six-month loan from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua caught many by surprise and divided opinion among the club’s fans, pundits and ex-players.
While the move was widely celebrated in Nigeria and across Africa, a number of noted ex-United players like Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand expressed reservations and Berbatov has admitted he did too.
While the deal was initially couched in terms of Ighalo being a back up with Marcus Rashford injured, the fact that a club of United’s stature sought out a 30-year-old plying his trade in China alarmed many.
His record in the Premier League with Watford before he moved to China where he scored just once in 18 outings in the first half of the 2016/2017 season following an impressive outlay the previous season also gave some cause for concern.
Ighalo has however answered his critics emphatically making an immediate impact on the team with 3 goals in 6 appearances.
His arrival along with the club’s other acquisition in January has seen United enjoy their best spell of form this season with the Old Trafford side currently unbeaten in nine games.
And Berbatov is happy to walk back his initial disapproval of the Nigerian, noting that United looked transformed with Ighalo leading the line.
“I’m really happy to see that Odion Ighalo is settling in well and he deserves it with the way he is playing, how he links the plays and the goals he is scoring,” Berbatov, who scored 56 goals in four seasons at United, told Betfair.
“All the team are happy when he scores which shows he is fully integrated, and I like the way he looks for the ball and bullies the defenders.
“I’ll be honest, I didn’t know too much about him before he joined… I knew about his record in the Premier League but I questioned if he was the right man and if he would get into the team, but so far he is doing well and proving me wrong.”
United take on city rivals Manchester City in the Manchester Derby later today.