Daniel Amokachi has stated Odion Ighalo cannot replace Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in Manchester United’s starting line-up because he is ‘only a backup’ striker.
The 31-year-old made a surprise loan switch to the Red Devils in January on transfer deadline day from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua.
His arrival at Old Trafford comes on the back of Rashford’s back injury in January as the England international was expected to be ruled out for three months.
Ighalo immediately hit the ground running with his eye-catching performances for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men, scoring four goals and providing one assist in four starts.
His convincing showings have now earned him a contract loan extension with the Red Devils until January 2021.
The former Watford striker is, however, yet to start a Premier League game for the Old Trafford outfit, with all his nine appearances for the club being from the bench.
With the return of Rashford from his injury and Martial doing well, Amokachi reveals Ighalo’s league fortune might not change anytime soon, notwithstanding his impressive performances in the cup competitions.
“Manchester United brought in Odion Ighalo from Shanghai Shenhua as a back up to then injured Rashford. Now, Rashford is back from injury and so Ighalo has to take a back seat again,” Amokachi told Brila FM.
“Our brother Odion was not loaned from Shanghai Shenhua as a starter at Man United but he has scored in the matches he started so Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may even decide that he has done well and deserves to have an extended time there, you never know.
“We cannot expect him to have more playing time than the likes of Rashford and Anthony Martial because he is only a back up there.”
Ighalo has now scored five goals and provided one assist in 14 appearances across all competitions since his arrival at Old Trafford.
The forward will hope to continue to play a part when Manchester United take on Crystal Palace in their next Premier League game on Thursday evening.
Ighalo retired from international duty after helping the Super Eagles to finish third in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, where he emerged as the competition’s top scorer.
Amokachi, meanwhile, is currently the Nigeria football ambassador and played for Club Brugge, Everton and Besiktas among others before ending his playing career.
He was part of the Super Eagles team that won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations and had 44 caps for the West Africans, scoring 13 goals during his time with the national team which spanned nine years.