Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Odion Ighalo is getting close to peak fitness following his Europa League debut and hinted that the player could start against former club Watford on Sunday.
Ighalo, 30, has not enjoyed the best of starts to life at Old Trafford and only recently started training with the rest of the squad having been quarantined as a precautionary measure against the Coronavirus following his move from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.
He took to the pitch for the first time since December when he made his debut for the Old Trafford club as a replacement for Anthony Martial in the closing stages of Monday’s 2-0 win at Chelsea.
A second cameo followed as he debuted in the Europa League, replacing the same player in the 67th-minute as United were held to a 1-1 draw in Belgium by Club Brugge in the 1st-leg Round of 32 encounter.
While Ighalo was the main attraction, the former Nigerian international was outshone on the night by compatriot Emmanuel Dennis who gave the home side the lead with a delightful lob over Sergio Romero before Anthony Martial restored parity for the visitors.
And having watched him make two fitness-boosting cameo appearances, Solskjaer appears pleased with his new acquisition’s fitness and hinted that Ighalo could be ready for a start against former club Watford who visit Old Trafford at the weekend.
“He got 25 minutes or half-an-hour today, so he’s getting more and more game-time,” Solskjaer said of Ighalo. “But let’s see.”
Having made his Red Devils debut against Chelsea and his European bow against Club Brugge all away from home, United fans will be expecting to finally watch Ighalo take to the pitch at Old Trafford in his third debut when they go up against Watford on Sunday.