Odion Ighalo believes a midfield partnership between Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes could restore Manchester United to their former glories.
France star Pogba has endured an injury-ruined 2019-20 season, while rumours persist that a switch to Real Madrid could be on the cards.
In his absence, United swooped for Fernandes during the January transfer window and the Portugal international instantly endeared himself to the Old Trafford faithful.
This has led many to suggest Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have already moved on from Pogba’s patchy second stint with the club, but on-loan striker Ighalo is keen for them to take a team already on an 11-match unbeaten run to new heights.
“He is working hard to get back to fitness and imagine when we have Pogba and Bruno in the midfield, then you will see a different team – [Marcus] Rashford coming back also,” Ighalo said in an interview with Juliet Bawuah that the journalist streamed live via her Twitter page.
“Manchester United is going to be great again, winning games week-in, week out.
“He’s a great player and it’s going to be a privilege to play with him.”
Fernandes has two goals and three assists in five Premier League appearances, bringing his prolific Sporting CP form to England’s top flight with ease.
However, Ighalo insists the best is yet to come from the 25-year-old.
“Bruno is a fantastic player,” he said. “I played with him in 2013-14 at Udinese. We’ve not seen the best of him yet in the Premier League.
“Once Bruno Fernandes settles down in England you will see what that guy can do. He has vision, he wants the ball always. He can shoot, he can score goals, he is very intelligent.
“Before the ball comes, he is a step ahead to know what he wants to do. In times to come you are going to see what he can do in the Premier League, even better than what he is doing now.”
In terms of his own future, Ighalo feels now is not the time to worry about a permanent United deal, having impressed since agreeing to join as a surprise temporary signing from Shanghai Shenhua on January’s transfer deadline day.
“You know I have a loan deal until the end of the season,” he said. “Now it is for us to finish the season well, for me to do well and score goals.
“But even me as a person cannot start talking about a contract when you don’t know when you’re going to resume.
“I’ve been around the club for a few months and everything is working perfectly well for me and the team is going fantastically. We’ll see how it goes.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 19, 2020
Even if his United career turns out to be brief, Ighalo will have the memory of a thunderous and technically brilliant Europa League strike against LASK to look back on and cherish in the colours of a club he has supported since childhood.
“Yeah, for now I would say it is the best goal in my career,” he added, having scored four times in eight outings across all competitions for the Red Devils.
“After that goal, I did not know how I scored that goal. My team-mates were showing me a video and going ‘wow, wow, wow’ and I was asking myself, ‘How did you do that?’.”
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