Manchester United legend. Peter Schmeichel, has hailed Odion Ighalo, believing the Nigeria international deserved his loan extension.

Few gave the 30-year-old a chance when he rocked up at Old Trafford on the final day of the January transfer window. But he’s made an instant impact at the Theatre of Dreams, scoring four goals from eight matches so far.

Manchester United raised eyebrows across the world when they signed Ighalo on the final day of the January transfer window.

The 30-year-old left Shanghai Shenhua in order to return to the Premier League, having previously played in the top flight with Watford.

United had been hoping to sign Erling Haaland from Red Bull Salzburg and many saw Ighalo as a downgrade on the Norway international, who instead joined Borussia Dortmund.

But the Nigerian has silenced his critics and will now be at United until January 2021, after the club extended his loan spell.

And Schmeichel, speaking exclusively to Express Sport, has hailed the former Watford striker for his impact so far.

“I think he’s been one of the most positive surprises ever,” he said.

“First of all his personality around the club, he’s been a revelation around the club. Everybody has tagged on and liked him straight away.

“When you have that kind of personality, it changes the whole team. Someone who brings a laugh into the dressing room, rather than coming in grumpy or not saying anything.

“It changes the dynamics. And what he’s done on the pitch, that really has surprised me.

“I was kind of confused…because it was last day and it looked as if they were just needing and looking to bring someone in.

“But that’s not the truth. And what he’s done is just fantastic.

“And another thing as well, someone like him, all of his life the only thing he really wanted to achieve was to play for Manchester United.

“Now that has been cut short by circumstances that are out of everybody’s control. And for what he’s done, in the very few games he’s ended up playing, it would have been heartbreaking if that was to stop.

“I think he might not be a starter but he might be somebody you can throw into the mix. You’ve seen him in the Europa League, like Ole himself, he can come on and change a game.

“Nobody, nobody, knows that better than the Manchester United manager. The value of having someone on the bench who can change a game, so I’m really happy about that.”

Another player United brought to Old Trafford in January was Bruno Fernandes.

 

And the Portugal international has made a stunning start to life at the Theatre of Dreams, winning round fans with his blockbuster displays.

Fernandes is expected to be the first name on United’s team-sheet when they face Tottenham on Friday night (8.15pm).

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