21st May 2024

Odion Ighalo was not even a third-choice target for Manchester United, says Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Odion Ighalo’s Deadline Day move to Manchester United is proof the club can no longer attract world’s best strikers, according to Eidur Gudjohnsen.

A largely uneventful January transfer window ended with United in a frantic last-gasp search for a striker to bolster their attacking options in the absence of injured England international Marcus Rashford.

Former Watford striker Ighalo eventually emerged as United’s answer on loan until the end of the season, having earlier been unsuccessful in signing Erling Braut Haaland, who opted for Borusssia Dortmund, and Bournemouth’s Joshua King.

Former Chelsea forward Gudjohnsen told the Transfer Talk podcast, United were always going to struggle to recruit a top calibre striker during the January window.

Asked how far back United have fallen, Gudjohnsen said: “It comes back to the time of the season of this [Ighalo] transfer as well. I don’t think any of the best strikers are available.”

He added: “I don’t think any of the best strikers are eager to join United anymore.”

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says Ighalo, who has played in China since January 2017, is unlikely to have even been a third choice target for United.

“He must be the luckiest man! Going to China, being away from Europe nobody seeing him for two and a half years since he was at Watford and then getting a loan move at United,” he said.

“Wow. That doesn’t happen!

“It says how far behind United are from Liverpool, Manchester City and even Chelsea. They have got a big job ahead.

“They needed somebody in. I think he was not their number one and I would be surprised if he was their number two or three as well.

“He is getting an opportunity and he will definitely get minutes and we will see if he can do it.”

Hasselbaink also says United’s struggles in the transfer market are even harder to understand after they sold Romelu Lukaku last summer and loaned Alexis Sanchez both to Inter Milan.

He added: “They knew that they needed a new striker for a long time. I don’t know how much money that they have but it is Manchester United.

“Why, if you need goals straight away, are you not throwing money at [Danny] Ings for instance? He is flying is at the moment.

“Or [Raul] Jimenez at Wolves – throw money at that. You were in the market for [Erling Braut] Haaland. He chose Dortmund!

Source: skysports.com

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