Clubs like Manchester United thrive and develop from learning from one another. This has been the case for the young forward Anthony Martial who has benefited from the experience of veteran loanee Odion Ighalo.
The 24-year-old Martial has been a bright spot for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s club as he’s shown the potential he has on the pitch. The way Marital positions himself on the field shows the possibilities that he can contribute to Manchester United. With his athletic ability and natural skills, it will only be a matter of time before he becomes a consistent icon for the team.
Despite this, Martial has a lot to learn from his teammates. This is where Ighalo comes in as a veteran loanee. The 31-year-old has made a name for himself as one of the more reliable players on the game.
One of Ighalo’s more memorable stints was his stay with Watford FC where he tallied 100 appearances, scored 40 goals and put up 11 assists. The Nigerian star has been around several teams throughout his career and has garnered a lot of experience that he can share to his younger peers.
Per Sky Sports, manager Solskjaer has noticed how Ighalo has been a good mentor for his young stars like Martial.
“Odion is a seasoned No.9,” Solskjaer said by way of Goal.com.
At this level, Solskjaer understands what Ighalo has been through his seasoned career and sees it as a chance for other players to grow. The way Ighalo has been helping has been evident in their training sessions where they practice their movement, hold-up play and overall confidence as a player.
“It’s the first season that he’s really playing as a No.9; he’s had to have that burden of the shirt and be that central focus through the middle,” Solskjaer added.
“Sometimes that’s not easy when you play for Manchester United but he knows that we trust him and I think he knows that we want him to keep developing,” Solskjaer shared.
Expectations are high for the team but the veterans will be there to ensure that their rising stars stay composed for the bigger stage.
“We’ll keep challenging him. There are always players in and around the team – and outside the club – who would want to be No.9 for Manchester United. There’s always pressure on a centre-forward but so far, he’s performed really well,” the veteran coach concluded.
It will be interesting to see how aggressive stars like Martial thrive with the club in the coming years with the guidance of Ighalo. Player development is crucial for Solskjaer’s system and it will be pivotal for any player to make the most out of his experience with Manchester United.