Former Chelsea and Tottenham striker Eidur Gudjohnsen believes Manchester United’s signing of Odion Ighalo on loan demonstrates that they are no longer an attractive proposition for the very best forwards.
United were linked with a whole host of top strikers during the January transfer window, including PSG’s Edinson Cavani and Moussa Dembele of Lyon, but ended up making a shock move for former Watford player Ighalo, who they signed from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the season.
Gudjohnsen said the Ighalo deal smelled of desperation, and shows that United can no longer attract world-class talent.
He added: “I don’t think any of the best strikers are eager to join United anymore.”
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says Ighalo, who has played in China since January 2017, is unlikely to have even been a third choice target for United.
“He must be the luckiest man! Going to China, being away from Europe nobody seeing him for two and a half years since he was at Watford and then getting a loan move at United,” he said.
“It says how far behind United are from Liverpool, Manchester City and even Chelsea. They have got a big job ahead.
“They needed somebody in. I think he was not their number one and I would be surprised if he was their number two or three as well.
“He is getting an opportunity and he will definitely get minutes and we will see if he can do it.”
Hasselbaink also says United’s struggles in the transfer market are even harder to understand after they sold Romelu Lukaku last summer and loaned Alexis Sanchez both to Inter Milan.
He added: “They knew that they needed a new striker for a long time. I don’t know how much money that they have but it is Manchester United.
“Why, if you need goals straight away, are you not throwing money at [Danny] Ings for instance? He is flying is at the moment.
“Or [Raul] Jimenez at Wolves – throw money at that. You were in the market for [Erling Braut] Haaland. He chose Dortmund!