Manchester United News: Odion Ighalo, Jadon Sancho


Global football is currently on pause for the most part, but the Premier League will restart again on June 17, with matches to be played behind closed doors. Project Restart appears to be a rousing success, as training has returned. Additionally, the UK government has now given the official all clear for sporting events to return.

Until we have football matches again, we still have plenty of news items to cover and analyze. So let’s take a look at what the Manchester United community is talking about in cyberspace.

United’s top summer transfer target, Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho achieved a hat trick in his side’s 6-1 rout over FC Paderborn yesterday.

What made international headlines was the way the London born star celebrated his first scoring strike.

The London born forward took his kit off and revealed an undershirt with “Justice for George” (pictured above) written on it. Sancho has since made a photo of him wearing the undershirt his profile pic on Twitter, conveying just how much this moment mattered to him.

The entire world watches as numerous cities in America continue to get ravaged by rioting and looting. Initially peaceful protests turned violent as police brutality once again persistently rears its ugly head.

The unrest stems from America’s long, painful history of racial inequality, with last week’s murder of African-American George Floyd, by a Caucasian police officer in Minneapolis, Derek Chauvin, sparking the powder keg. This is about issues and topics that go way deeper than football, so for more on what’s happening and why go here.

Sancho wasn’t the only footballer in Germany showing his solidarity with the protestors. His teammate Achraf Hakimi, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram and FC Schalke’s Weston McKennie (a USMNT player) all got their political points of #JusticeForGeorge across this weekend.

Sancho received a yellow card for making the sociopolitical statement, and that booking was called out by Executive Director of football’s anti-discrimination Fare Network.

“The booking of Jadon Sancho, or any other player, for making a statement in support of a man who has been unjustly killed is the wrong decision,” Piara Powar told The Associated Press.

“This is not a party-political cause, or an issue that poses a threat to football but an expression of concern and solidarity from minority players.”

Also on Monday, Liverpool FC’s official social media posted a photo of their entire squad taking a knee together around the center circle at their home stadium of Anfield. The caption reads “Black Lives Matter” and “Unity is Strength.” 

Elsewhere, United have now announced the extension of on loan striker Odion Ighalo.

The initial deal for Ighalo, who turns 31 later this month, was set to expire yesterday but MUFC reached an agreement with his parent club, Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League, to extend the contract until January 31.

In a club statement the Red Devils said the deal would “enable Ighalo to build on an impressive start to life with the club he supported as a boy.”

It’s a nice turnaround, as just last week it looked like the Nigerian’s time at Old Trafford was up.

Added manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “They [Shanghai Shenhua] have been great towards us, allowing him to play for his dream club. It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish what he started and win a trophy with us.”

Thus ends, on a happy note for all involved, a tense and needlessly protracted transfer saga.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago, on Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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