Odion Ighalo has given a fascinating insight into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coaching methods, revealing how the Manchester United boss has improved his game after just a few weeks of working together.
The Nigerian front-man joined United in January and has already netted four times, averaging a goal every 80 minutes in a red shirt.
His manager also had a knack for finding the back of the net, and he’s been passing on a few pearls of wisdom to the 30-year-old.
“When I moved to United, I learned a few things from him,” Ighalo said on MUTV Takeover.
“During games… there was even a game I scored in, and he said: ‘You should have scored more if you do this or do that.’
“I thought about it and I know if I would have done what Ole said, I would have scored more.
“He says: ‘You’re a striker, take the chance.’
“So I’ve learnt a lot from him, in terms of positioning and how to do one or two things in a game.
“As a striker, it’s good when a striker is coaching you.”
“And, as a striker, you benefit even more than the defenders.
“He is someone who has scored goals for a long time and has done a lot for United, so it’s good to learn from him.”
Solksjaer is also considered a legend in his native Norway.
Ighalo is aware of it, having spent a year playing for Oslo outfit Lyn earlier in his career.
“He’s a big player [in Norway],” said Ighalo. “Playing for United is amazing – for me, it’s the biggest team in the world.
“In your country, they are going to value it, like the way I am in Nigeria.
“In Norway, everyone rates him so highly because he did a lot for United, and he’s Norwegian. He was always on TV when I was there.”
Solksjaer has certainly made a big impression on Ighalo since the attacker joined United in January, and it’s not just because of his expert coaching.
“He’s a very calm guy; he’s a good guy,” said the Nigerian star.
“Outside of football, he’s a good guy. When everybody is laughing in training, he joins in and he talks to us, but, when it’s the game, you see a serious face. We have to do this, we have to do that – then it’s business time.”