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Ighalo reveals United boss wants selfish striker

Babalola Seyi

Odion Ighalo has revealed the extent of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s pursuit for excellence after detailing his boss’ critical message to him after his brace against Derby.

The Man United striker scored two goals in the 3-0 FA Cup fifth round win over The Rams at the iPro Stadium in March.

He had shown good strength to hold off two Derby defenders to sidefoot home his side’s opener in the first half, before doubling his tally with a thumping effort late on.

But Solskjaer wanted more from his frontman, and demanded he be more selfish.

“I remember the Derby County game, I scored two goals but he called me and said you’re a striker you should score three goals,” Ighalo said.

“There was a ball [pass] I needed to shoot but Juan Mata called me and I brought it back.”

Ighalo has clearly impressed Solskjaer with his contributions however, after securing an extension to his loan deal which will keep him at Old Trafford until at least January.

United feared they may lose Ighalo for their remaining fixtures of the season as his parent club Shanghai Shenhua were keen for the star to return for pre-season training.

The 30-year-old always hoped to stay on at his boyhood club, and United were willing to stump up another £10.5 million in combined wages and a loan fee to retain his services.

Teammate Luke Shaw, who also scored in the Derby victory, explained how the rest of the squad were delighted to hear Ighalo was staying at the club.

“All the players are really happy for him,” Shaw said. “Obviously his situation was up in the air and we try not to talk about that kind of thing at training but we’re just so happy for him.

“Before he arrived, a few people outside the club weren’t too sure what he was going to bring to the club, but he’s shown everyone because he’s brought goals and a different style to our other strikers.

“He’s earned and deserved the chance to stay here longer. He brings happiness and a smile to the place.

“He’s great in training but he’s also been really important at times during games and scored some great goals.

“Now that everything’s sorted, hopefully he can relax now and settle back into doing what he was doing before football stopped.”

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