Odion Ighalo "ready" for rare Premier League start as Man Utd go to Newcastle

Odion Ighalo says he is "ready" to be thrown in for a rare Premier League start if called upon against Newcastle this weekend.

The Nigerian's last starting berth in the competition actually came in different colours – for Watford back on New Years' Day in 2017.

Since then he has made 12 league appearances for United, but all coming as a substitute.

While his selection in the starting XI would be one of a more forced nature, due to Anthony Martial's suspension and new signing Edinson Cavani not yet being ready for action, Ighalo is still chomping at the bit for a chance.

"I’m always ready," Ighalo told Man Utd's official website. "Whenever the gaffer calls me, my idea is just to give my best in training, work hard and wait for my opportunity – to take it.

“Hopefully, I’ll just keep my head down, keep working hard every day. Come to the training ground every day and give it my best. Whenever the gaffer needs me, I will come and give my best.”

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now has a choice to decide who leads his attack for Saturday's trip to St. James' Park.

Ighalo would seem the like-for-like choice, flanked either side by Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, though Solskjaer could just as easily opt for the latter through the centre, with Daniel James wide right.

While the 31-year-old shares a positive outlook, the arrival of Cavani has no doubt put his importance to the team under threat.

Who should United start in attack vs Newcastle? Have your say below.

Ighalo was initially signed as a stop-gap on loan until a more permanent option was found, with his extended spell set to end in January.

But despite Cavani's two-year deal appearing to have signalled the beginning of the end for Ighalo, he is not phased by the extra competition.

“It's good for the team, for everybody to be on their toes to work hard,” Ighalo said.

“For a big team, like Manchester United, you have to have competition for players to do well and I welcome the new guys coming in.

"They will bring more challenges to everyone in the team, to work hard for their positions to play in the team.”

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