Manchester United’s new signing Odion Ighalo hasn’t had the smoothest start to life at Old Trafford. The striker was brought in during the January transfer window in a load deal from Shanghai Shenhua. However, he wasn’t able to join his new teammates for their warm-weather training camp in Spain due to fears that he wouldn’t be allowed back into England.
The fears for United have stemmed back from the fact that they brought Ighalo in during the time that the coronavirus was rising in prominence. There were fears that should he have made the trip, the authorities at the border wouldn’t have let him return due to his history of being in China.
United Taking Precautionary Steps
That decision last week was then met with the announcement yesterday that United are keeping Ighalo away from the Carrington training ground. The Red Devils have downplayed the severity of this, and have confirmed that it is just a precautionary measure that the club thought they should have.
The fears come after the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world. However, Ighalo has also tested negative for having the disease, but United thought it would be best for all parties to keep him separate for two-weeks of incubation. That period of time away from the squad will come to an end this week, as he will meet up with his teammates when they return from Spain for training ahead of the game against Chelsea on Monday night in the Premier League.
Ighalo Included In United Squad
Despite Ighalo training away from the remainder of the United squad, he is expected to be named in the travelling party for the game at Stamford Bridge on Monday. The former Watford striker hasn’t played Premier League football for three years after he left Vicarage Road for China.
The Nigerian striker isn’t expected to start the game against Chelsea, and will likely be named among the substitutes. Anthony Martial will likely be deployed upfront by himself again, with Mason Greenwood and Juan Mata playing around the Frenchman.
Ighalo brings with him a history of being able to find the back of the net, and that would be a welcome sight for United fans as Martial has struggled over recent weeks. During his two seasons in the Premier League with Watford, Ighalo scored 16 goals.
Injury Updates For Red Devils
The winter break came at a good time for the Red Devils as they were able to bring a number of players back into the fold. Scott McTominay was pictured back in training in Marbella, while Axel Tuanzebe and Eric Bailly will add further defensive options for Solskjaer after he allowed Marcos Rojo to leave on loan.
The biggest concerns for United will be Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford. The latter of those looks set to be out until at least the end of April, while there has been no date placed on the return of Pogba amidst all the talk around the Frenchman leaving the Theatre of Dreams.