Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hailed Odion Ighalo’s predatory instincts and impact on Manchester United behind the scenes after the on-loan striker netted against Norwich City in the FA Cup on Saturday.
The 31-year-old continued his goalscoring form in cup competitions with the opener as the Red Devils saw off the Canaries 2-1 after extra-time in Saturday’s quarter-final.
After a goalless first-half at Carrow Road, Ighalo fired the visitors into the lead from close range in the 51st minute with his first shot of the game, prompting praise from his manager.
“It is great to have the option to rotate,” Solskjaer told BBC Sport. “Anthony Martial came on and did brilliant, but Odion gives me a chance to rotate.”
“He’s a proven goalscorer and played his part in both goals, he is a great person to have around the dressing room too.” The Norwegian coach continued.
“Odion knows how much we value him in and around the dressing room; he’s a goalscorer, a poacher, he’s strong, we can play the ball into him, he showed for the second and Paul [Pogba] found him.”
“It was very important (to keep him at the club), that was important for me and we worked hard to do it,” Solskjaer concluded.
United, who are now unbeaten in their last 14 games across all competitions, travel to Brighton and Hove Albion in Tuesday’s Premier League encounter as they look to maintain pace in the race for Champions League qualification, before welcoming Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth on Saturday.