Ferdinand sends message to United striker Odion Ighalo

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has backed Odion Ighalo to have a similar impact on United to that of Henrik Larsson.

“I think he’s warranted the opportunity now to come in as a full-time player,” the United legend said of the Shanghai Shenhua loanee on Instagram Live.

“And what he gives Manchester United, which they didn’t have, is someone you can pass the ball into and can hold it up, he’s got a physical presence, he can hold off a defender or two and lay the ball in for someone else to score.

“When you see Rashford when he’s fit, I think he will appreciate playing with someone like this.

“He can have the impact on the Rashfords and the Martials and the Dan James’ that someone like Henrik Larsson can have on the likes of Rooney, Saha etc.

“That experience and he’s got that little bit of difference that’s different to someone else where you go ‘actually I’ll take that little element from his game and I’ll learn from that, I’ll add that to my game’.

“I think he’s got something that’s different to all the other guys in the team, which is good, you need that little bit of difference sometimes.

“I’m not saying to start him, I’m saying to sign him so that he’s something different if it’s not going our way in a game sometimes.

“He can be a great player for the cup games and he’s also good off the bench. He’s affected games every time he’s come on the pitch, that’s what I like.”

As well as Ighalo, Larsson signed for the club on a two-month loan midseason back in 2007 from Helsingborg.

The Swede had a huge impact at the club.

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