Ighalo gets jersey number at Manchester United


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Manchester United loanee, Odion Ighalo has been assigned a jersey number, the club said on Tuesday.

The Nigerian has been handed No. 25 squad number for his six-month-long loan spell, United said in a statement.

Antonio Valencia last wore the squad number that became vacant when he left in the summer. The Ecuadorian left after 10 years at Old Trafford.

But the ex-Nigerian international, 30, arrived the club in a shock move from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua on Deadline Day.

“The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations top scorer is set to bolster Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad for the remainder of this season, providing a different option in attack.

“Ighalo’s debut, in theory at least, could be made when the Reds return from the winter break with a hotly-anticipated Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday 17 February.

“That game is followed by the Europa League round of 32 match against Club Brugge and, coincidentally, a top-flight game against his former club Watford,” the club said.

Meanwhile, his former manager, Quique Sanchez Flores has warned that the United loanee could experience a little difficulty in settling into the Premier League.

The Nigerian spent two and a half seasons at Watford before moving to China, scoring 46 goals in three seasons in the Chinese Super League.

Flores said Ighalo could need at least a month to find his rhythm.

“Mainly, the problem is how they train in China,” said Flores. “It is not the same as in England.”

“Is he really ready for first-team matches in the Premier League because the physical difference is so big? He probably needs one month to recover the full rhythm.

“The good thing is he knows his body well, works hard on injury prevention and he is always working after training.

“I should say, also, that I felt in China, he gave exactly the same effort and quality as he gave me four years ago. We had the feeling in China that he could recover a high level with any team in Europe.”

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