Solskjaer makes Ighalo FA Cup hint; United duo remain frozen out

Date published: Friday 8th January 2021 2:33 - Matthew Briggs


Odion Ighalo is among the Man Utd squad members that will be utilised against Watford, but Facundo Pellistri has coronavirus and will not be involved.

Ighalo, 31, a lifelong United fan made an impressive impact after his surprise loan switch from Shanghai Shenhua last February.

Ighalo’s loan deal was extended over the summer until January 31, 2021 but the Nigeria international has been restricted to just four appearances in all competitions this term.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been reluctant to use Ighalo and his last Premier League appearance was a nine-minute cameo against Crystal Palace in September.

“It’s special for him against Watford,” Solskjaer said. “He will be involved. He’s in the squad, he’s been training really well.

“It’s been difficult for him to be out of the squad as many times (as he has), of course, because he did really well up until the summer.

“This season he’s not had as many opportunities but he’s never let himself down as a professional and a human being. Hopefully I don’t need to put him on, that we need goals, but hopefully he can join in.”

Solskjaer has confirmed United teenager Pellistri has tested positive for coronavirus.

The 19-year-old joined from Penarol in Uruguay in October and has been playing with the development team as he gets use to life in England.

Pellistri could have featured in Saturday’s FA Cup third-round clash against Watford, but Solskjaer confirmed a social media post by the player’s agency that the winger was isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.



“Well, I think we have done well to follow the protocols as we have,” he said. “We’ve had the odd case and Facundo Pellistri got a positive.

“He reported that on his Twitter site. We don’t normally comment on who they are but Facundo is well and hopefully he’ll be back with us soon.

“He’s been with the reserves and (under-)23s and he wasn’t in our group over Christmas. But apart from that, we have a full and fit squad.”

Rojo and Romero missing

Solskjaer will rotate his squad against Watford but Marcos Rojo and Sergio Romero will be not be involved.

The Argentina internationals are out of contract this summer and will leave Old Trafford then if not before.

“Both of them have contracts until the summer and they’re not going to be extended,” the Norwegian said. “We’re looking for them to find clubs.

“Marcos has been given time to go home, so he’s still in Argentina. Sergio has been back home as well to see his family but he’s back in England now.

“But they’re professionals, they’re working hard and they’re ready if they’re called in for us. I’m sure they’re ready.”

READ MORE: Solskjaer’s transfer plan in tatters, as specific January requirement emerges

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