The Nigerian forward left Manchester United unceremoniously at the end of January and has had time to reflect on his year-long stay at Old Trafford
Odion Ighalo has spoken of his respect and admiration for Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer despite a low-key end to his time in Manchester.
But the 31-year-old has hinted that the Red Devils boss may have been unfair in his dealings with him during the latter days of his loan spell.
Ighalo enjoined a brilliant start to life at United, scoring four goals in eight appearances upon joining from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua on the final day of the January transfer window. But his fantastic form was halted when the season was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Still, the boyhood United fan’s loan was subsequently extended beyond its original May deadline until the last day in January.
Ighalo only scored once more after football restarted.
This season, however, did not go as Ighalo would have wanted, with the Nigerian forward seeing limited opportunities, making only four appearances in total, including just two starts.
But Ighalo insists he was always ready to work for the team even if the coach didn’t consider him for selection.
“Every player wants to play, but I always respect my coach. I’m a hard worker in training and match situations, It’s painful though, but the decision is not yours,” Ighalo told Brila FM.
“No player wants to be on the bench, particularly when you know you are fit or even better than those selected ahead of you.
“But, I respect Ole. He gave me the chance to live my dream. I can’t feel bad or hold any grudge.”
Despite living a dream for 12 months, Ighalo would have wanted his time at Old Trafford to have ended on a positive note.
The former Watford ace did not make another United appearance since featuring in the closing stages of the 1-3 home loss to PSG in the UEFA Champions League back in December.
Ighalo believes Solskjaer was unfair in not offering him more chances.
“I believe that sometimes he (Solskjaer) wasn’t fair to me because I deserved to play, but I don’t think and won’t say it was discrimination.”
Ighalo has since signed for Saudi Arabia’s top-flight club Al Shabab on a two-and-a-half-year deal.