The January arrival could make his debut against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening if the Red Devils feel is ready to play

Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo is undergoing a demanding strength-based training regime as he continues to build his match fitness after signing for the remainder of the season.

The Nigerian joined on deadline day, but is being kept apart from the rest of the squad as they continue their warm weather training camp in Spain.

Instead, the 30-year-old is taking part in double daily fitness sessions with performance coach Wayne Richardson, who was immediately impressed with the player’s attitude.

“He’s come totally professional, totally prepared,” Richardson told Manchester Evening News. “He’s not come off the cuff or anything. He knows what he wants and what he wants to do.

“He was doing his pre-season, he had just started that out in China. So it is a case of not wanting to load him up with too much, too soon. 

“You have got to remember he is on the back of a whirlwind with Man Utd. He has come in and it has all been about mobility, flexibility and trying really basic things in his first week.

“Now we’re looking to load him up and look at his intensity as well. He was in pretty decent shape when he came across, he was doing stuff anyway before he came over.”

Ighalo’s planned trip to meet his team-mates was affected by the outbreak of the Coronavirus, therefore forcing him to continue his personal development with both Richardson and Great Britain’s Olympic Taekwondo team.

“We’re not the people who he has to impress,” added Richardson. “We just basically have that support mechanism for players. They [United] will gauge where he is at, obviously he has got to go for all his testing, but we are just giving him that pre-season.

“We can always tell from the moment a player comes through the door about where their mindset is. This guy has walked through the door, he is ready to work, he is an athlete. When he goes out there he has got the weight of Manchester United on his shoulders in terms of the shirt. I don’t think that will faze him.

“He’s a good, honest professional athlete who knows what he has to do to get to where he needs to be.”

The 30-year-old joined from Shanghai Shenhua last month, and could make his Man Utd debut on Monday evening when his side travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea in the Premier League.


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