BBC pundit Garth Crooks can’t understand why Manchester United sold Romelu Lukaku in the summer only to replace him with Odion Ighalo during the January transfer window.
The Nigerian moved to Old Trafford on loan from Shanghai Shenhua at the end of last month, and while Crooks feels the 30-year-old is a decent player, he doesn’t think he has the same quality as Lukaku:
“Who sells Romelu Lukaku and replaces him (if only in the short term) with Odion Ighalo? Manchester United it would appear… Ighalo is a proven striker made very much in Solskjaer’s image. Professional, a team player and most importantly just happy to be at the club of his dreams. But the Nigerian is not in Lukaku’s class, even if he is only on loan.”
It must be said that Lukaku asked to leave the club, but that doesn’t excuse the poor transfer planning with no player having been lined up to replace the Belgian international.
It took six months to add a new striker, and that only came at the last minute on deadline day. While manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can be criticised for many things, he can’t be blamed for how badly the first-team squad has been managed during his 13 months in charge. As Crooks points out, serious questions need to be asked about the club’s decision making in the transfer market.