Manchester United can’t attract top strikers, says Eidur Gudjohnsen, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Manchester United can’t attract top strikers, says Eidur Gudjohnsen

Eidur Gudjohnsen believes the loan signing of Odion Ighalo is evidence that Manchester United do not appeal to the world's best strikers.

Ighalo sealed a last-gasp deadline day move to United from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua last Friday as cover for the injured Marcus Rashford.

The Nigeria international was offered a six-month deal, after United failed in their pursuit of Erling Haaland, who opted for Borussia Dortmund, and Bournemouth's Joshua King.

But this does not come as a surprise to ex-Chelsea forward Gudjohnsen, who felt United were always going to struggle to recruit a top striker during last month's transfer window.

"It's about the time of the season as well. I don't think any of the best strikers are available during that period," Gudjohnsen told Sky Sports' Transfer Talk podcast.

"I don't think any of the best strikers are eager to join United any more."

The Icelander's former Blues teammate Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink added on the same podcast that Ighalo, who has played in the English Premier League with Watford, probably wasn't even a third-choice target for United.

"He must be the luckiest man! Going to China... nobody seeing him for 2½ years since he was at Watford and then getting a loan move to United," he said.

"Wow. That doesn't happen!

"They needed somebody in. He was not their No. 1 and I would be surprised if he was their No. 2 or 3 as well."

Ighalo's move has sparked talking points in recent days.

Former United defender Gary Neville was unimpressed with United's lack of forward planning to sign a striker for the long term, especially after Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez left the club in the summer.

Ex-United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich, on the other hand, felt that Ighalo could inspire the Red Devils in the way Eric Cantona did when he moved from Leeds United in 1992.


Whether Ighalo will have the impact of the "King" remains to be seen, but it will take the 30-year-old a month before he will reach his peak fitness, according to Quique Sanchez Flores.

Sanchez Flores was Ighalo's manager at Watford when the Nigerian struck 17 goals in a season, before also coaching him for a short time at Shanghai.

Sanchez Flores told The Athletic: "How they train in China is not the same as in England. The physical difference is so big... He probably needs one month to recover the full rhythm."

The Spaniard also believes Ighalo can shine under United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

"I have an amazing impression of the player," he said.

"His first quality is he can protect the ball and he gives time to the team to get up the field and win the second ball. It's so difficult to get the ball from him."