May 29, 2024

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Nigerian Odion Ighalo sees Van Persie shadow in Mason Greenwood

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Odion Ighalo claims to see shades of Robin van Persie in Manchester United youngster Mason Greenwood, with the 18-year-old striker enjoying a breakthrough season in 2019-20.

The Old Trafford academy graduate was handed a senior bow during the 2018-19 campaign, with the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager working in his favour.

It has, however, been this term that regular game time has been seen – with 12 goals recorded through 36 appearances.

Rapid progress has been made by a youngster still learning his trade, with there plenty of potential for him to unlock .

Ighalo believes Greenwood is capable of becoming a fearsome frontman cut from the same cloth as a Dutch forward who helped United to their last Premier League title back in 2013.

The Nigerian told the club’s official website when casting an eye over his rivals for an attacking berth: “I will start with Greenwood.

“He’s a very good player. I think I used to see with my eyes he’s looking like Robin van Persie. He can shoot with both feet, he’s a very intelligent player, young and is not afraid.

“Anto [Martial] is a very skilful, good striker who scores goals. Marcus [Rashford] always wants the ball. He can run behind defenders. He can come and get the ball to feet and shoot from any angle. 

“These guys are very good, very young guys and I’m grateful to be playing with this set of strikers.”

Odion Ighalo Manchester United

While recognising the qualities of his competition, Ighalo is hoping to nail down a place in Solskjaer’s plans.

He has seen a loan agreement at Old Trafford extended through to January 2021 , allowing him to continue living the dream with the club he supported as a boy .

Ighalo already has four goals to his name, having joined the Red Devils in the last transfer window, but is aware that more is expected from all of those charged with the task of delivering end product.

He added on working under 1999 Treble winner Solskjaer, who was once a predatory frontman himself: “I think it’s more beneficial for us strikers because we have a former striker as coach. I know that.

“Even in some games we play, he calls you to talk to you. Like I remember at the Derby game, I scored two goals and he called me to say: ‘You’re the striker. You’re supposed to score three goals in this game!

“It’s important. I needed to shoot. I had Juan Mata who called me and I was rolling the ball back. He said: ‘No, as a striker, in that place, you should shoot. Always try to shoot to the goal. It doesn’t matter if the keeper touches it, aim for your target and shoot.

“So I benefit a lot from him – the way he talks in training and the way he wants me to move and to keep the ball and all that. It’s very good.”

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