Odion Ighalo compares Mason Greenwood to Man Utd great Robin van Persie

Odion Ighalo has heaped praise on Manchester United star Mason Greenwood, comparing the 18-year-old to former Old Trafford favourite Robin van Persie.

Red Devils fans welcomed the news Ighalo has signed an extension on his loan from Shanghai Shenhua earlier this week.

While the Nigerian expressed his delight at his lengthened stay with his boyhood club, he is also "grateful" at the chance to work alongside his three fellow forwards.

And Ighalo has highlighted Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial's qualities – but reserved special praise for Greenwood, whose eye-catching performances in cup competitions have led to regular appearances in the Premier League.

And the teenager's play style and confidence remind Ighalo of former goalscoring great van Persie, who netted 58 times in 105 United appearances.

Discussing his fellow United forwards, Ighalo told club’s official website : “I will start with Greenwood. He's a very good player.

"I think I used to see with my eyes he's looking like Robin van Persie. He can shoot with both feet, he's a very intelligent player, young and is not afraid."

Van Persie scored 26 goals to spearhead United to the Premier League title in Sir Alex Ferguson's final season in 2013.

And Greenwood is tipped to develop into a similarly prolific forward thanks to his impressive 12-goal return this season.

He has spent much of the season deputising to established forward duo Rashford and Martial, who have scored 25 Premier League goals between them and excel in different areas, according to Ighalo.

He added: “Anto [Martial] is a very skilful, good striker who scores goals. Marcus [Rashford] always wants the ball. He can run behind defenders. He can come and get the ball to feet and shoot from any angle.

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“These guys are very good, very young guys and I'm grateful to be playing with this set of strikers.”

Ighalo has also impressed when called upon by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, scoring four goals and providing one assist in eight matches.

The 30-year-old was brought in on loan in January as cover for Rashford after a serious back injury but will now stay with the club until January 2021.

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