United legend Rio Ferdinand admits he was wrong about this Manchester United player

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Photo: Getty Images

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has admitted he was wrong in his assessment of striker Odion Ighalo.

The former centreback has said he has been won over by the Nigerian and that the player’s hold up play brings a different quality to the team neither Marcus Rashford nor Anthony Martial can give.

The former Watford striker made it three goals in two starts for the club with a brace in the side’s 3-0 FA Cup win against Derby County on Thursday night.

Manchester United were widely criticised for the deadline day signing of the Nigerian with many calling it a desperate move, but the Nigerian has silenced his critics.

“People and myself included were probably thinking Odion Ighalo, where does he fit into all of this?” said Ferdinand.

“If you have an opportunity to sign a player at the beginning of the January window, he is not the guy you are going to sign but what he does bring is a point.

“A point where they can focus and play into him from the midfield. He offers the platform to run off. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial want the ball in behind and not to bring people in.”

“When the ball gets played into him, if Rashford or Martial were there they wouldn’t have made themselves available like that,” Ferdinand added as he analyses Ighalo’s goal against Derby.

“To be there first is great considering the pressure he is under. He’s in the centre of goal and he’s a physical presence. That’s what he adds to this team.”

With Martial struggling with injury and Rashford nursing a long-term injury, Ighalo has become a key player for the club and could be handed his first Premier League start in the Manchester derby on Sunday.