Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand believes that Odion Ighalo has earned a full time deal at the club.
Ighalo joined on loan from Shanghai Shenhua in the winter, and has scored in nearly all his starts for United this term.
There is speculation that he will be signed permanently in the summer, with reports in England and Italy suggesting United are negotiating with the Chinese club on a transfer fee.
And Ferdinand thinks it is justified.
“Wow, eight games, three starts in that, four goals and one assist. Ighalo, do you sign him for Manchester United now?” the ex-Red Devils defender said during a Q&A on Instagram.
“All the people that out there that were saying: ‘What are we doing signing Ighalo? What’s going on? What’s Ole thinking?’ – I was one of them, I have to admit it.
“Ighalo’s been in China, the league’s nowhere near what the Premier League is so how is he going get up to speed? Is he going to be ready straight away? We need somebody to come and make an impact immediately. Coming from China, impossible.
“Well, he’s proved us all wrong. This guy has proved us all wrong. It’s refreshing to see someone who is like a supporter, who is thankful.
“He looks like he’s absolutely delighted to be at Manchester United. He’s been a Manchester United supporter his whole life. He looks like he’s saying ‘thank you’ every day he walks up to Ole for giving him this opportunity.
“He’s not someone who says ‘Manchester United are lucky to have me here’ – that’s the vibe I’ve got for a little while and that’s not just United, that’s other clubs as well.
“This boy looks like he’s happy to be here: ‘Whatever you tell me to do I’m going to go out there and do it to the best of my ability. I’m going to give you 100 per cent every day in training and in matches because I love this club and I want to do right by this club’. I love it.
“It’s shocked me to see what he’s done. Listen, we’re not talking like he’s turned Man United into world-beaters but United needed something and he’s brought it in and given it and that’s all you can ask for.
“And I think he’s warranted the opportunity to come in as a full-time player and what he’s given Manchester United which they didn’t have is someone they 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.”