Bengaluru, February 2: Manchester United made a surprise late addition to their squad in the winter transfer window with Odion Ighalo on a loan deal for the rest of the season. The Nigerian international joined on an initial six-month loan deal for £3 million from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua, with the Red Devils paying one third of his mammoth £300,000-a-week wages.
However, as per reports in England, Manchester United only were able to get the 30-year-old as Aston Villa pulled out of the deal very late. Dean Smith's side were closing in on a move for the former Watford forward but instead chose to bring Borja Baston on a free transfer. So, the question is, did the Lions make a the right decision to pull out of a deal for Ighalo? We will discuss that in this article.
Both Manchester United and Aston Villa were in desperate need of additions up front and for different reasons. The Villans have been promoted to the Premier League this season itself and are in a difficult position right now. The Midlands club could very well face the drop at the end of the season an needed to ensure that they strengthened up front during the January transfer window.
The Midlands club lost their club record signing Wesley Moraes to a horror injury that is set to see him miss the rest of the season and also parted ways with Joanathan Kodija as the Ivorian moved to Al-Gharafa. Dean Smith did manage to bring Mbwana Samatta for around £8.5m from Genk who already scored his first goal for the club in a 2-1 loss against Bournemouth on Saturday (February 1).
Ighalo is a proven Premier League striker who impressed during his stay at Vicarage Road. Also, he is an established striker at the international level. Adding someone like the 30-year-old to the attack would have been a much more sensible move by the Villans than signing Borja Baston who has only scored 1 goal in 18 Premier League games. The Nigerian international is on a big payroll but the Villans would have been wise to sign the former Watford striker who could have helped them save the drop.