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Ighalo: Jamie Redknapp impressed by Manchester United forward

01:42 GMT 09/03/2020
Odion Ighalo Manchester United 2019-20
The former England international was pleased with the Nigerian's contribution that sealed the three points for the Red Devils in the Manchester Derby

Jamie Redknapp has expressed his delight over Odion Ighalo's hold up play after Manchester United claimed the derby bragging rights over Manchester City with a 2-0 win on Sunday.

The Nigerian has fast become a fan favourite at Old Trafford, netting three goals since joining on loan from Shanghai Shenhua in January, the latest being a brace in the 3-0 FA Cup fifth-round win at Derby County.

The 30-year old started from the bench this time and came on to replace fellow January signing Bruno Fernandes in the 88th minute.

Ighalo was able to hold the ball off Joao Cancelo before sending a backheel to Fred, who played the ball to Ederson, the City goalkeeper throwing the ball into Scott McTominay's path and the Scottish midfielder blasted it into an empty net.

“When you’re struggling, you’re hanging on, you want your centre-forward to get hold of the ball," Redknapp said on Sky Sports.

“Just hold it up and do something special for you. He [Ighalo] keeps it alive, it’s a lovely backheel and look what you get at the end of it.”

Former United full-back Gary Neville also speaking on Sky Sports thinks Ighalo will be well-suited playing against the smaller teams that tend to defend deep, something the Red Devils have struggled against this season.

“I think he would do well in those type of games because Martial and James aren’t as suited," Neville said.

“Rashford I’d put into that category as well, when opposition defences do sit deep and they’ve got to be a little bit more cute and they haven’t got the space to run into.

“And Ighalo has good feet, so he would come into play in those types of games, with Juan Mata.”

Another ex-Red Devil in Roy Keane believes Ighalo's presence will make Anthony Martial improve. The Frenchman scored the first goal of the game.

“You’ve had a reaction as well from Martial," Keane said on Sky Sports.

“Sometimes a new striker comes in, you praise the new striker, but then that pushes the other lads.

“There’s almost been a reaction from Martial, thinking: ‘Oh, I’ve got another player [Ighalo] to fight with for my position’. And there’s been a good reaction.”

Manchester United remain three points behind Chelsea in the race to make it into the top four.