Ole Gunnar Solskjaer declares Odion Ighalo ready for Manchester United debut at Chelsea … not yet trained with his new teammates despite signing the loan!
- Odion Ighalo joined Manchester United on the transfer date of January
- The 30-year-old still has to train with his new teammates since he completed the move
- British boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says that Ighalo is ready to make his debut
- The Red Devils travel to Chelsea in a crunch collision on Monday evening
Odion Ighalo will be ready to make his Manchester United debut at Chelsea on Monday if necessary despite having not yet trained with his new teammates, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims.
Ighalo stayed home when United traveled to Marbella this week for a warm weather training camp because of worries that he would not be admitted back to the country amid the corona virus warning after lending the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.
The 30-year-old striker in Nigeria was also trained as a precaution at Carrington and worked with a personal fitness trainer in central Manchester.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made Odion Ighalo available to make his Man United debut
The signing of the new United loan has not been trained with his teammates since joining China
Ighalo might have one session with the rest of the team on Sunday, but Solskjaer supported the former Watford man to prepare if he was called off the bench against Chelsea.
“Well, it didn’t take me long (as a player),” said the United boss. “I didn’t have a training session to continue. As a striker you are thrown out of it and it may be that he has to get off the couch and give us a goal. He does what he did.
“He will be involved with us and will travel with us. Now he is outside that two-week period, which was just a precaution we have taken, let’s see if he is involved or not.
The 30-year-old can make his debut when United travels to Chelsea for a crunch collision on Monday
Solskjaer hopes that Ighalo will ease the burden of Mason Greenwood and Dan James
“We kept in touch with him and of course we did our own program and he did his. It would always be a case in which he had to integrate because he had been in China, and he had to get used to the players, the team, to get up to speed as quickly as possible.
“He has worked very hard and has probably pinched himself to be with his favorite club at the age of 30, but he has earned it and hopefully he will impress us so that we can see him play.
“The injury to Marcus Rashford, it must be said that we needed another attacker. When we got the chance to give Odion a loan that was a goal scorer for us, a top scorer in the Africa Cup of Nations last year, he can help the club. He is a very professional player, a good boy and gives something to the group.
“At the end of January, Anthony (Martial) and Mason (Greenwood) played a lot of games. We lacked that bit of spark, but we hope that adding Odion will give us a different type of striker. “
Solskjaer also revealed that Scott McTominay will not appear on Stamford Bridge on Monday
Solskjaer revealed that none of his injured players – Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe or Timothy Fosu-Mensah – will be fit to appear on Stamford Bridge because they remain unnecessary with Rashford and Paul Pogba, although Nemanja Matic returns from suspension against his old club .
“I don’t think we will get someone back – Scotty, Axel, Tim did not participate too much and Paul is not ready for us,” said Solskjaer.
“How do you play without Marcus or Scott? You handle it. We have players who have been given a chance, who have had a good rest.
“It was great for everyone in the team, but also for other teams and the Premier League. I think the competition for it will improve. December and January were relentless, it was a good move by the authorities. “
United needs a win to close the gap on Chelsea, who are six points ahead of fourth in the Champions League slot race. They beat Frank Lampard’s home team 4-0 on the opening day of the season and then beat them from the Carabao Cup at Stamford Bridge.
“A victory gives us a gap of three points and that is what we should strive for,” added Solskjaer. “We played them twice this season and did well. We go there and try to win the game – we have to. “