West Ham have one foot in safety from relegation after a win over Chelsea and draw against Newcastle

For a while there West Ham looked destined to be relegated. There was no shape, discipline or attacking method. Everyone was looking at David Moyes as if to say ‘what now’?

Strange then how just 2 games can change the perspective. The first was against Chelsea where the Hammers were the obvious underdogs and yet not only did they beat the Blues they also put 3 goals past them in a fantastic 3-2 victory.

This match was followed up by a trip to Newcastle, a team under Steve Bruce who were still unbeaten since the restart of the league. The game finished 2-2, the battle was there for all to see. True the Londoners had taken the lead twice and been pegged back as many times but a point away to Newcastle is always a good point.

Those two matches stopped the rot and that was the most important thing for the club who suddenly had a self belief. Led by the inform Michail Antonio his goals have really counted. One could also suggest that Chelsea did the Hammers a favour, it was simply the right fixture at the right time, as West Ham always up their game when they are playing their London rivals.

Relegation can still happen but it feels much more distant now. The club have pulled 4 points clear from both Aston Villa and Bournemouth, only a few weeks ago the only thing saving West Ham from the drop was goal difference.

West Ham now have 31 points and this week they will play Burnley at home. They will be the favourites to win that and if they do they would have taken a huge step for survival this season.

The Hammers remaining games after that is an away trip to Norwich. It’s very possible that by the time they play the Canaries they will have been relegated. This could make the game easier for Moyes’ team. They will then be at home to Watford another game which many would fancy them to win.

Their last two games are against Manchester United away from home and then Aston Villa. It seems like the only tricky tie left for the Hammers will be their trip to Old Trafford as it is very possible that United will be needing a win to qualify for a top 4 spot and thus playing in the Champions League next season.

Even the Hammers final game which is against Aston Villa could be a dead rubber anyway, as the way Villa are playing they are looking like they could be down by then.

West Ham are making a superb recovery just at the right time, and for now all Hammers fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

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Manchester United are currently the best side in the Premier League, this is why

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in charge of Manchester United he makes it very hard for critics to get on his back. One of those reasons of course is that he is so friendly, the guy smiles even after a bad game, just imagine Sir Alex Ferguson doing the same.

But the main reason it is so hard to tear Manchester United apart is that they are not a bad team, or at least not as bad as many would have you think. True Solskjaer has had his downs with the club and some of their form over two periods have merited a few whispers of ‘you’re getting the sack in the morning’. And just when you think everything is going wrong, he motivates the players, gets the best out of them and they start winning games, but by winning that is scoring plenty of goals and going on good 1-2 month runs. United are currently doing that right now.

It could well be that the Red Devils fail to qualify for the Champions League for next season, though they are currently giving that a very good shot. But on form they are the best side in the Premier League- we should expect Solskjaer to be picking up manager of the month anytime soon.

Along with Newcastle they are the only team not to have lost since the league restarted, not many could have predicted that. And United would be in 1st place on form collecting 13 points from 15. They are scoring goals too, 11 in their last 3 games and have just come off of the back of beating Bournemouth 5-2. Whisper it but everything is feeling like Ferguson/United.

But why is this, what has changed at United? Because if they were playing this good earlier in the season they would be where Chelsea are now and possibly challenging for 2nd position.

Here are three key players that have upped their game:

Mason Greenwood

Greenwood has displaced Daniel James and he is scoring goals, setting up play and his pace is fantastic. He is a real find, just look at his solo goal a few days ago against Brighton. Solskjaer had this to say about him: “You can see clearly that he’s maturing and improving. He’s only 18 still so we will see more from him. I’ve said it throughout the year that as long as we can get him faced up in and around the box he’ll create chances for us. But in this game his hold-up play and his link up play and general movement was fantastic as well.” The scary part is that he is only 18. Could be a future legend with the club.

Fred

What a turnaround it has been for Fred in midfield. Last season and at the beginning of this one he was playing so bad that memes were being made of him and cruelly he was becoming a laughing stock. Maybe though all Fred needed was the right manager to guide him and he has been very very good especially this year.

Bruno Fernandes 

Potentially Bruno Fernandes could be Manchester United’s best buy since Cristiano Ronaldo. He has been superb for the club, a new signing and already carrying the team. A born leader and he should be setting the stage alight for many years to come. In just 9 league games for United he has scored 6 goals. It is obvious he will be a regular fixture.

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Manchester United 5-2 Bournemouth: The three key things we learnt as the Red Devils demolished the Cherries

Ahead of gameweek 33, with only six games remaining in the Premier League, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United faced a straightforward fixture against Bournemouth at Old Trafford, where the visitors are struggling in the relegation zone and have one of the poorest away forms in the league.

Going into the game, majority of people were expecting the game to be one-sided in favour of the hosts, as they remain unbeaten in all competitions since the end of January and are looking to finish in the top four for the first time since the 2017/2018 season. On the other side, for Eddie Howe’s men, the main objective for the team is to avoid the relegation drop and be in the Premier League for another year, which could be decided on the final day of the campaign with how things are going.

As predicted, the hosts were in full control of the game from the first second of the game to the final whistle, as they went on to achieve 69% possession of the ball and 172 passes in the attacking third compared to Bournemouth’s 57 successful passes in the final third. Though, the visitors were able to play some good football in patches and periods, compared to other teams that have faced a difficult trip to Old Trafford, which allowed them to score two goals through Junior Stanislas and Joshua King.

In the end, the sheer brilliance and pure class that Manchester United had in midfield and in attack was too much for the Cherries to handle, as the game finished off at 5-2 in favour of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team. The Red Devils remain in fifth place, as Chelsea and Leicester City were able to win their respective games, whilst Bournemouth are in 19th position and a single point away from safety.

Here are the three things we learnt from United’s latest league game…

The individual mistakes at the back have to be ironed out

For sure, the focus will be on the amount of goals that the side had scored and how they responded after going down by a goal in the 15th minute of the game, but the individual mistakes that were made by the likes of David De Gea, Eric Bailly and Harry Maguire have to be seriously considered. The side have conceded a number of cheap goals from the 33 goals they have conceded so far this season, which could play a pivotal role on if they finish in the top four at the end of July or not.

From Maguire leaving his legs wide open to be nutmegged before De Gea was beaten at his front post once again, to Bailly giving away a penalty with an unnecessary handball just inside of the penalty box, quite a few concerning errors were made against a struggling Premier League side. Fortunately, no further mistakes were made to allow the visitors to push for a magical comeback.

Given the amount of money the club have spent in recent years as well as how they are currently interested in players such as Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish, Solskjaer will be looking to go all out on attempting to challenge for the league title next season, and in order for this to be achieved, the monumental mistakes that are made by the goalkeeper and the defence have to be ironed out.

Rashford, Martial and Greenwood cannot stop scoring at the moment

Towards the start of the campaign, United were badly struggling for goals and were relying on the penalties they were receiving, with both Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba on the sidelines whilst all the pressure and expectations were solely on Marcus Rashford’s shoulders. Six to nine months later, along with the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, the strikers simply cannot stop scoring at the moment.

Martial, Rashford and Mason Greenwood have been scoring goals left, right and centre since the season had restarted a couple of goals, as United have scored 12 goals in their last four Premier League games. And when looking at the statistics of the strikers up until now, Greenwood has 15 goals in all competition, Martial and Rashford have 20 each in all competition, which clearly shows that the club and the manager will never be dried up of goals for the next couple of years or so.

Manchester United’s dominance remains high against the struggling sides

Under the likes of David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, Manchester United had this rising issue of the fact that they would find it difficult to confidently beat the mid-table teams or the struggling sides in the relegation zone and put at least a couple of goals past them. Now, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in charge, the side are able to continuously play a strong starting line-up, who have the bond and chemistry with one another to be at their best and be in full control of the opposition.

As long as the team are able to continue in this same, professional and dominant manner from now till the end of the season, then both Solskjaer and Manchester United should have no problems at all in picking up maximum points and finishing in the top four. Not only that, with how the rule of five substitutions is being used, it allows the Red Devils to have the ideal individuals to bring on from the bench, whether they need to defend a lead or bring on an a player to quickly turn the game around.

Brighton 0-3 Manchester United: The three key things we learnt as the Red Devils sink the Seagulls

Ahead of gameweek 32, with only seven games remaining in the Premier League, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United faced a difficult trip away to the Amex Stadium to take on Brighton, where the visitors have not been able to take a point away from the hosts for the past two seasons.

Going into the game, Graham Potter’s Brighton were intending on continuing their unbeaten run since the campaign had resumed, as they currently sit in 15th place and just six points above the relegation zone. On the other hand, for United, who aiming for a top four finish, they have to make an attempt in turning around their results away from home to increase their chances of finishing above Leicester City and Chelsea, who have been resting in third and fourth place for a long time.

The visitors, as expected, were in full control of the game from the first second of the game to the final whistle, as they went on to achieve 63% possession of the ball and 132 passes in the attacking third compared to Brighton’s 49 successful passes in the final third. However, the hosts were able to hit some stride into the match once it was game over, and when both Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba were taken off the pitch, but they were lacking the cutting edge of quality to score a goal.

At the end of the day, the Red Devil’s quality in each department was just too much for Brighton to handle, at the fixture was simply game, set and match ten minutes before the hour mark. United remain in fifth position, and will be hoping that the sides above them drop points over the coming days, whilst Brighton will be aiming to pick up three to five points over the next few fixtures to ensure they are safe from the relegation zone and are in the Premier League next season.

Here are the three things we learnt from United’s latest league game…

Bruno Fernandes continues to prove that he is the real deal

Notching five goals and three assists in eight Premier League appearances, Bruno Fernandes continues to prove to the English media and the rival supporters that he is the real deal, the same people who had thought that his style of play would be found out sooner rather than later. As his partnership alongside Paul Pogba carries on to develop and improve day by day, the duo have helped the team to seriously dominate possession and create constant chances for the attackers.

Since the arrival of the Portuguese international at the end of January, the side have incredibly gone on to be unbeaten in 15 games in all competition, where his contributions in the attacking phase has been top notch, along with his work rate and inspirational mentality. Bruno went on to scoring two crucial goals in each half of the game against Brighton, where both goals were cleverly taken, with the first one being just outside of the penalty box and the second one being a first-time volley.

Mason Greenwood is on the rise, as he takes Daniel James’ spot

At the age of 18, Mason Greenwood has just under 900 minutes of Premier League game time so far this season, and he already has six goals and one assist to his name. Being regarded as a youngster that is rapidly on the rise, he is starting to be seen as a player that has more potential than both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, and the best part about it is the fact that he is not fazed or worried about these remarks as he is more than happy to reach the expectations that have been set.

Currently playing as a right-sided winger, Greenwood has been bonding well with the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba, especially in a position that he is not familiar of. On top of that, his pressing high up the pitch, ability to linkup with his teammates, dribbling style with both feet deserves to be praised highly, as he is offering a huge amount of threat in many ways for Solskjaer and United, compared to Daniel James, who looks to be very inconsistent and predictable.

The Red Devils are finally starting to turn their away form around

If Ole Gunnar Solskajer and Manchester United are seriously looking to push for a top four finish, then they will have to turn their away form around instantly and before it is too late. As things currently stand, the side have the seventh best record away from home, with even the likes of Leicester, Southampton and Wolves achieving more points than United when on the road.

When looking at United’s remaining fixtures away from home, they still have to go away to teams such as Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Leicester City, which will certainly not be straightforward as many would think. As long as Solskjaer is able to keep Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba at the top of their game and of the opposition too, with the attackers taking their chances when it matters the most, the team should find zero issues in picking up maximum points from the remainder of the games, let alone the three away fixtures they have from now till the end of the footballing season.

From Manchester City to Arsenal who can win the FA Cup this season as the quarter finals get under way?

It may have been easy to forget that amongst the Premier League restarting and we having staggered games as the league tries to finish by the end of July, there is also the FA Cup to complete. England’s oldest prize gets off and running again this weekend and we are at the quarter final stages.

Let’s take a look at the matches due to be played, which is interesting given that every team is from the Premier League, its has been 14 years since we have seen this occurrence.

Norwich v Manchester United (June 27th)

Manchester United will start as favourites and despite focusing on the league and trying to get a top 4 spot they will be taking this game very seriously. The club would love to win some silverware this season. As for Norwich they look certain to be relegated this season and so might as well give everything in this game. Expect goals, but we expect Manchester United to go through.

Sheffield United v Arsenal (June 28th)

A few weeks ago you may have said the Blades would have been too strong for Arsenal. But United have started the league again poorly, not really on the money. Arsenal lost their first 2 games but were impressive and professional against Southampton. This could be Arsenal’s biggest game of the season and they should be ready to squeeze through to the semi-finals.

Leicester v Chelsea (June 28th)

This should be a very fascinating game as 3rd in the league is against 4th. Leicester have not started the continuation of the season well, getting draws and they have seen their gap to Chelsea cut to just 1 point. The Blues have been brilliant and have just beaten Manchester City so they won’t fear any team. This will be another close game but you look at the quality in this Chelsea team and you can see them powering through here.

Newcastle v Manchester City (June 28th)

With the league now over Manchester City will go for this cup and try to beat Newcastle. The club easily have the superior team and will be odds on favourites to win this game. However nothing is a given and Newcastle have shown some qualities of their own lately. There is always one surprise in the rounds, and this could be the game where that happens. After all let’s face it City have actually had quite a miserable season overall. The big egg for them so to speak will be in August when the Champions League kicks off again. We could well see a shock in this game.

 

 

 

Why Frank Lampard is not happy with 4th place as Chelsea look to finish in the top three

You’ve just beaten Manchester City 2-1 and you know you have a very good team, normally you’d be very happy in the press conference after the game. So why wasn’t Frank Lampard? The Chelsea manager looked almost angry at the questions he was being asked and yet there was this focus and desire in his eyes.

You get a sense with Lampard that nothing is better than winning. Make no mistake he would have been delighted to get a win over Pep Guardilola’s City side. It was only a short time ago that City were beating Chelsea 6-0 and a lot has changed at Stamford Bridge since then.

Chelsea have played two games since the Premier League restart and have two wins both resulting in the same score line of 2-1. The first match over Aston Villa was impressive given that they went behind and it took until the 60th minute to find an equaliser even though they were far the better team. But that game summarised this Chelsea team. They will play you down, play at their pace and make enough attacks, that they actually make the opposition tired.

There is no doubt about it that this current Chelsea side are a reflection of what Lampard expected as player, no short cuts, hard work and a winning attitude. Much has been said of the lack of quality of British managers in the game, and Lampard might just be able to step out of that shadow.

For most of the season Chelsea have been in 4th place, finish there and they play Champions League football next season. This would be a success given it is Lampard’s first season with the club in the dug out. But now there is a feeling of 3rd place especially after beating Manchester City.

You almost get the feeling that after having Manchester United, Wolves and Sheffield United breathing down their necks trying to take the last Champions League place that Lampard has had enough. Why settle for that battle when they could go one step further and take 3rd from Leicester?

At one time that didn’t seem possible- Leicester were a good 3 wins away, that isn’t the case now there is just 1 point in it, and if you were a betting man you would probably be tempted to say that Chelsea could take 3rd this season.

So the press conference wasn’t about Lampard being angry about the result obviously not. It was about him knowing that he has achieved nothing at the club. Beating City is fantastic, but this season the objective will be a deep run in the FA Cup and getting that 3rd place.

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Certain details of Manchester United training exposed before Tottenham clash

It was only at the beginning of this year that Bruno Fernandes proceeded forward with signing on to be a part of the Manchester United team, leaving behind his home country side of Sporting Lisbon. Yet, this hasn’t done anything to knock the player’s confidence in himself and his new team. Instead, he seemed exceptionally confident prior to last week’s game against Tottenham Hotspur. While speaking of the training that Man United have been going through recently, Fernandes said that the whole squad have been showing “really good” signs.

This will likely prove to be a popular feeling with sports betting fans, who have been hankering to get back to their favorite pastime. And with United having so many backers and supporters, the words from the team’s latest big signing will likely fill them with confidence when they clash with the Spurs. Fortunately, you’ll be able to place bets on that game at various platforms, including through Melbet mobile as well. So, regardless of where you are, you can simply access the sportsbook from your smartphone or tablet and place the bets you’d like to place on it. If you feel inspired by the words of Fernandes, then now could be the right time for you to do so.

The recent transfer from Lisbon already showed some impressive skills on the pitch in his opening nine appearances, scoring three goals and four assists within. Obviously, with the stoppage of football, his prowess hasn’t been on display for Manchester for a lengthy period of time. That being said, United have not suffered a defeat since the arrival of Fernandes.

Spurs Pose a Threat as the Team Looks to Bounce Back

Tottenham hasn’t had such a great start to the season though, and the team will likely be looking to fire back after the dismal showings they provided prior to the stoppage. That doesn’t seem to have posed any trouble for Fernandes, though. He’s still got his sights set on claiming another victory for the Manchester side.

When asked about the current mood with the club, Fernandes said that everyone is “really happy” before proceeding on to say that training has been “really intense, really good”.
He went on to say that the coaching staff and players at Manchester United are attempting to gain some sense of normality following lockdown, stating that players “arrive at different hours” and don’t proceed in the same way with protocol as they have in the past. He drew attention to the fact that it is great that the team can train together though, and that they can all be together in the same training ground.

An 11 versus 11 training match was held at Old Trafford last weekend, with that specific exercise providing a great opportunity for the team to experience what it’s like playing in an empty stadium. Left-back player Luke Shaw said that the game finished in a 4-4 result, and he even mentioned that he’d scored two of the goals for his side, too. Fernandes made up a third and Daniel James took the fourth.

Speaking of the fixture against Tottenham, Shaw mentioned that it was a massive one for him and the whole team and while the result was just a draw against the London side, United will keep improving per Shaw. In his statement he noted that the whole squad is looking “sharp, really fit and ready to go”, as far as training is concerned.

Manchester United ought to give Angel Gomes what he wants

After securing a loan for Odion Ighalo from Shanghai Shenhua, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still has some unfinished business at Old Trafford. Like most clubs across the world, Manchester United are working on their summer transfers, albeit with limited financial resources. Punters on betway98 online and other sports betting platforms are following closely to see how the events unfold for various teams. All clubs are working on ways to navigate through these unique times.

All the clubs have taken a significant financial blow from the temporary halt of sports activities. The shock is severe that the third richest club in the world, according to Forbes’ latest rankings, is facing challenges.

Ed Woodward, the club’s commercial chief, stated that business would not be “usual” in this year’s transfer market. This summer’s transfer window will stretch probably to October, but we might not see the big-money transfers that have become the norm in the recent years.

As a result, clubs have to be swift and efficient in the transfer market to get the best deals. One manager that has shown his qualities is Frank Lampard of Chelsea. After signing Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, he is closing in on Timo Werner. Chelsea seems to be doing well at the moment. He is building a squad that will be a choice for many betters on Betway88 and other sports betting sites.

Ole has had a tough time despite extending the stay of Ighalo until January, a move which could be described as a necessary one. The goal-scoring department has given the manager sleepless nights. Furthermore, the Red Devils fans are always demanding more.

When the news about Timo Werner broke last week, there was desperation among the fans for United to do something. Many are pushing the club to do whatever it takes to land a marquee signing like Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, who has been under the club’s radar for a bit of time.

Meanwhile, Manchester United have another issue that they have to address within their ranks. Angel Gomes’ future has not been resolved yet. The Academy playmaker’s contract ends this month, and they are yet to agree on a contract extension since the talks have reached a deadlock. However, the club can still reach a decision that benefits both parties.

Gomes’ main concern is whether he will get enough playing time if he commits to the club for three years. This season he has been behind Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, and Andreas Pereira in the pecking order. His hopes were further dimmed by the arrival of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon in January. His arrival sparked life to a squad that had frustrated punters on betting sites like Betway88 due to United’s inconsistent form.

The silver lining is that Ole has shown his trust in younger players, particularly those from the Academy, as he looks to lower the average age of his squad. The manager could decide to give the young lad a chance ahead of the older players who have had the majority of the season yet failed to perform. The United boss has to get his priorities right for his attacking midfielders; otherwise, he could lose Gomes.

Other clubs are circling, and Manchester United are running out of time. It would be more painful to lose such a promising talent to rivals Chelsea who have shown interest in luring Gomes as a free signing. Luckily, United have until the end of June to sort out the issue.

The manager must be bold enough to bench Lingard and Pereira, or leave them out to make room for Gomes. This would solve the issue in such a way whereby all parties end up as winners.

Psychic Readers predicting top scorers & results in some leagues

Did you know that psychic readers can predict top scorers in leagues? While the idea may seem preposterous to you, the truth is there have been instances where a psychic has rightly forecast soccer results. Can you recall the incident when an octopus named Paul predicted results of all the World Cup matches correctly?

In 2017, a celebrity psychic had predicted the rankings of the 4 top teams in the Premier League as well as positions of the rest. She was known for making right predictions before this one on horse race results and winners of game shows. After arranging a tarot cards’ pack, Inbaal then took one card out for each team and predicted how it would perform the next season.

According to her, Arsenal would be in fourth position; it is represented by the Four of cup revealing that they have the confidence and will succeed even though they have not put in the expected workload. As for the 3rd position, it was to be held by Manchester United; it was depicted by the Hermit card which stands for a wise as well as lonely character. So, this means that United were not keen to be friends with others and they are not keen on celebrities.

The 2nd position was going to be Tottenham’s as the Star card stood for hopes that come true. She rightly felt that success was certain since the players got a lot of support from their fans and families, and they invested in keeping themselves happy. Finally, Chelsea would take the 1 st position with the Lust card that shows a cup being held up. This either signaled the main Cup or the league, but indicated a win.

Predicting the outcome of football matches is quite a tricky affair as surely most people have come to understand. It entails casting astrological charts for all players as well as the coaches. However, because of the overwhelming interest and craze centering on the sport, the best way to get an accurate score prediction is to actually analyze the psychic state, astrological chart and aura of everyone you can think of. It is right there where the Tarot cards can be of a big help.

To know how the tarot cards are read you can visit reputed online sites that deliver free tarot readings online. However, you need to ensure that the readings are provided by experts in the field of psychic reading. The readings usually last from 10 to 30 minutes and may also extend to an hour or more based on the questions and the answers given.

The Tarot can successfully predict outcome for big populations. When used correctly you can come to a set of general predictions. With statistical analysis, it is at least theoretically possible to get a more or less accurate prediction with a certain degree of uncertainty. While many people have gambled in order to predict the outcome of many sports events, some have turned to psychics and soothsayers for this. In the recent years, even robots and animals with supposedly psychic capabilities are being used for predicting results and scorers in games.

What next for Manchester United and Odion Ighalo?

Transfer policy at Manchester United has been something of a sour point for many fans over recent years, although the winter transfer window did see the club redeem themselves somewhat.

The capture of Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes was well received by supporters, while the player has also made an instant impact with his impressive displays. Meanwhile, the loan arrival of Odion Ighalo did raise more than a few eyebrows initially, although his displays have shown that, if United decide to make the deal permanent, he will continue to repay their faith in his attacking abilities.

Perhaps the signing of Ighalo can provide the Old Trafford hierarchy with a clear example of what they should be looking for. Players who offer the right mix of genuine desire to pull on the famous red jersey, alongside the talent and skill to provide exactly what the manager requires of them. Players who understand what it means to represent Manchester United.

Today, many avid fans are turning to digital representations to keep them entertained, playing video games such as Football Manager and FIFA. Such games have sparked renewed interest in eSports, with online gaming sites and bookmakers such as ComeOn Casino offering odds on the digital versions of teams like Manchester United in action. So, while we might not get to see Ighalo in action for a while, fans can keep their eyes peeled for any digital Man U matches coming their way.

There’s certainly no doubt that Ighalo will have had his stats updated on FIFA20, along with his facial image in the game and his customary goal celebration, which hasn’t changed over the last decade.

Deeply religious, Ighalo has always regarded scoring goals as his opportunity to give thanks to God. That’s why he’s kept the same celebration of running to the corner flag, hands in the air and looking to the sky. No matter where this journeyman striker has scored his goals, this has been a constant and considering where he was just a decade ago, Ighalo will always feel grateful.

Interestingly, back in 2010 life was completely different for Ighalo. Ten years ago he was playing for Granada CF in the Segunda B, the third tier of Spanish football. During his five seasons with the club, while never the most prolific of strikers, Ighalo is still regarded as a legend amongst their fans. He had a knack for scoring some of their most important goals, including one that secured promotion back to LaLiga for the first time in 35 years.

During his time in LaLiga with Granada, it’s fair to say that Ighalo wasn’t utilised as well as he could have been, as various managers came and went. He never complained, kept working hard and always sported his trademark smile. Patience and perseverance were eventually rewarded with a switch to Watford, with Ighalo quickly finding his feet in English football.

One of the key players who helped Watford return to the Premier League, the goals kept flowing for Ighalo with the Hornets buzzing amongst the English elite. His form was attracting attention far and wide, including Manchester United according to rumours at the time. Nevertheless, the next leg of a journeyman career took Ighalo to China, where he continued to shine with Changchun Yatai and Shanghai Shenhua.

More out of necessity with Marcus Rashford injured and a lack of alternatives in the January transfer window of 2020, United eventually made their move for Ighalo. He didn’t need to be convinced, didn’t need to think about it, and he was prepared to accept whatever role that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had in mind. This was the opportunity of a lifetime and for the 30-year-old, possibly the last chance to realise his dream of playing for the Red Devils.

Ighalo hasn’t wasted his opportunity. While his Premier League appearances have been fleeting, typically appearing from the bench, his cup appearances have been spectacular. 2 goals in 1 FA Cup appearance, 2 goals and 1 assist in 3 Europa League appearances. The last outing for Ighalo in the continental competition also produced an absolutely stunning strike, which has left United fans drooling for more from their new attacking idol.

Amidst talk of negotiations for a permanent switch from Shanghai Shenhua, there’ll be no difficulties presented by Ighalo. All that remains is for United to agree terms with the Chinese club, with the Nigerian international certainly deserving of the opportunity to stay put at Old Trafford.