Paul Merson thinks that Odion Ighalo could be the ‘biggest laughing stock the Premier League has ever seen’.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United striker search reaches desperation on deadline day and attention eventually turned to the former Watford man after a failed move for Bournemouth forward Josh King.
Ighalo, who left the Premier League for Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in 2017, has joined on a five-month loan deal until the end of the season.
There is a realisation amongst many United fans that Ighalo was clearly not the first-choice striker Solskjaer wanted to bring to Old Trafford.
But after Marcus Rashford sustained a long-term injury, the manager was left completely bereft of attacking options and needed someone to provide backup.
However, Paul Merson thinks the deadline day signing could prove disastrous and have serious ramifications for Vice-Executive Chairman Ed Woodward and Solskjaer.
“Odion Ighalo could be the final straw at Manchester United. If that signing is a disaster then Ed Woodward and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are in big trouble,” Merson told the Daily Star.
“Don’t get me wrong. He could rediscover the form he once he had at Watford and be a huge success. But he could be the biggest laughing stock the Premier League has ever seen.
“Only time will tell. But remember, the last time he was here he only scored once in 18 games before Watford sold him and he’ll have gotten lazy playing in China.”
Ighalo will not travel to Spain for United’s mid-season warm weather training camp this week due to immigration fears after recently flying from China.
Instead, he will stay in Manchester and work with a personal coach as he aims to get up to speed with English football.
It’s hardly ideal preparation for the Nigerian international, who would have enjoyed the opportunity to integrate with the rest of the squad.