Odion Ighalo has insisted he’s “ready” to seize his opportunity to shine at Manchester United as he comes into contention for a place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s line up against Newcastle.

The 31-year-old has scored five goals in 22 appearances across all competitions for the Red Devils, earning a contract extension through to January.

He has had to make do with a bit-part role in the squad behind first-choice front three Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, but has apopular standing among supporters for his love of the club and commitment to their cause.

Solskjaer has only given Ighalo nine minutes of Premier League action at the start of the new season, and he was omitted from the squad completely for fixtures against Brighton and Spurs before the international break.

The Nigerian has fallen even further down the pecking order following the Edinson Cavani’s arrival in Manchester, with the ex-Paris Saint-Germain striker joining United on a free transfer on deadline day.

Cavani will not be eligible to feature against Newcastle on Saturday though, as he continues to observe a 14-day self-isolation period in accordance with Covid-19 quarantine rules.

Martial is also unavailable for the trip to St James’ Park after being shown a red card in the 6-1 defeat to Spurs on October 4, which means Ighalo could be called up to lead the line.

The Shanghai Shenhua is fully prepared to step in as the Red Devils seek to get back to winning ways, telling the club’s official website:“I’m always ready. Whenever the gaffer calls me, my idea is just to give my best in training, work hard and wait for my opportunity – to take it.

“Hopefully, I’ll just keep my head down, keep working hard every day. Come to the training ground every day and give it my best. Whenever the gaffer needs me, I will come and give my best.”

Asked for an insight into the mood in the dressing room ahead of a must-win encounter, Ighalo responded:“We are working hard and looking forward to it. We’ve been training hard. Those of us who did not go to the international teams have been working seriously hard.

“Everyone is in top shape and, when those who have been in the international teams are all back, I think we are in good heart to win the game. I know we didn’t start the season well so we’ll try to start from this weekend and try to win the game to kick the season off.”

In addition to Cavani, United made four signings in total during the summer transfer window, with Donny Van de Beek, Alex Telles and Facundo Pellistri also snapped up on permanent contracts.

Ighalo is embracing the extra competition for places instead of shying away from it, with it his belief that strength in depth is crucial for clubs competing at an elite level.

Source : goal.com