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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE

Former Nigeria international Odion Ighalo has been lauded as a proven goalscorer by Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Red Devils manager handed 31-year-old marksman a starting berth against Norwich City in the FA Cup quarter-final clash on Saturday.

Odion Ighalo entered the Manchester United record books on Saturday and became only the second player in the club's history to score in each of his first four competitive starts following his strike in the 2-1 win against Norwich.

Ighalo made it five goals in four starts for United in cup competitions as he opened the scoring in their 2-1 win over Norwich at Carrow Road.

Solskjaer explained why Ighalo started ahead of the club’s first-choice striker Anthony Martial.

" It is great to have the option to rotate,” Solskjaer said on Goal. “Anthony Martial came on and did brilliant, but Odion gives me a chance to rotate.

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He has proven himself a born goalscorer and played his part in both goals. He is a great person to have around the dressing room too.

" 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.”

The Nigerian forward has been a big hit since signing on loan from Chinese side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua in January, scoring five goals and creating one assist in all competitions, after before the current season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic

He has particularly impressed in the cup competitions, and his strikes in his four starts against Club Brugge, Derby, LASK and Norwich see him equal the record set by Jimmy Hanson in 1925, according to Opta.

" It was very important [to keep him at the club], that was important for me and we worked hard to do it,” Solskjaer concluded.

Ighalo will be hoping to feature for United when they take on Brighton and Hove Albion in a Premier League match on June 30.


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