The reaction to Odion Ighalo’s surprise move to Manchester United has been mixed. There are those who think a club of the 20 times champions of England’s stature should not be signing players from the Chinese Super League . There are others who think that the move – coming after United were linked with 113 players during this winter transfer window, according to The Athletic – smacks of the systemic failure behind the scenes at Old Trafford. They see Ighalo’s arrival on the last day of the January transfer window, having lost striker Romelu Lukaku in the summer, as a fitting summary of a club where the fans are violently tiring of the mismanagement overseen by Ed Woodward under the ownership of the Glazer family. 18 | ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER GOAL!!! HAAAAALLLLAANNDD!!! #BVBFCU 2-0 pic.twitter.com/Sn9dFUZn8h — Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) February 1, 2020 No one was expecting the Nigeria hitman, not when they all wanted Norwegian wunderkind Erling Braut Haaland , who has scored seven goals in 135 minutes over three games since arriving at Borussia Dortmund from RB Leipzig. Inevitably there was also the dreaded “banter”. I’ve been trying to find the words to describe what I think about the Ighalo signing . I can’t ... @SkySportsPL will be hoping I’ve mustered something together by 5.30. See you then P.S. I’m hoping the lad does brilliantly by the way — Gary Neville (@GNev2) February 1, 2020 “Can’t believe the lack of ambition shown by Ighalo swapping Champions League football for the Europa League ,” was one such sentiment. The Champions League in question is the AFC version, which Shanghai Shenhua are in this season after winning the Chinese FA Cup; Manchester United are in the Uefa Europa League after missing out on the Uefa Champions League positions in the English Premier League last season. Then there was another line doing the rounds on social media. That signing a player from the Chinese Super League would bring the deadly coronavirus to the country in an attempt to get the season cancelled. Odion Ighalo's agent Atta Aneke tells @Aftenposten : 'I talked to Man United's top boss for a few days in advance. It was quiet on Thursday, and then I got the impression that nothing would happen. Suddenly, in the middle of the day on Friday, things started to move.' #mufc — Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) February 1, 2020 The implication being that the Manchester side’s great rivals Liverpool would then have to add at least one more year to their three decade wait to be champions of England for a 19th time. That’s the sort of half-wittery that social media wallows in and it is not a million miles from the view that the Chinese Super League automatically makes a footballer bad. Players only go there for the money and those that do are mercenaries is the common wisdom, ignoring the fact that many moves are based on potential earnings rather than trophies. Ighalo himself was clear why he moved to China from Watford in the January 2017 transfer window. Changchun Yatai could afford the US$26 million that the English side wanted. He did it for the money, but the money that most benefited his then club as well as him. Strong performance, so proud of this group Happy to get a goal today too We need to stay focused and recover quickly for our next game in the cup #BVBFCU #HejaBVB #AW28 pic.twitter.com/L9iqF8OO4N — Axel Witsel (@axelwitsel28) February 1, 2020 “Watford fans don’t know it but I had an offer from Crystal Palace on the table and West Bromwich but the club was looking for big money and that’s why I accepted Changchun Yatai at the time,” he told the Watford Observer last month. “ When the opportunity came for me I accepted it because China could pay what Watford wanted.” He benefited financially too, admitting he went for the money. Ighalo had spoken to the same paper on turning down China in the summer of 2015, before the big names arrived. Gary Neville isn't impressed with Manchester United's transfers "Ighalo, they just needed a body. I can't let the club off the hook. they've ended up desperately doing one on deadline day" pic.twitter.com/kjY4e1kXBH — Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 1, 2020 Would he be a more acceptable signing if he came from Crystal Palace or West Brom rather than a side that finished 11th in the CSL last season? Footballers don’t automatically become bad by playing in a worse league. Ighalo himself proved that by his goalscoring exploits since moving to China. He hit 15 goals in 27 games in the 2017 season for Changchun Yatai, then 21 in 28 the following season as they were relegated . Since moving to Shanghai he scored 10 goals in 17 league games. IGHALO Signs for @ManUtd whilst I’m in his country Nigeria... mixed reception! Wishing him good luck ⚽️ #Ighalo #Nigeria #MUNWOL Full Vlog Below https://t.co/MhK4bGCeek pic.twitter.com/r3S1IoeIDp — Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) February 1, 2020 More tellingly he was top scorer at the African Cup of Nations last year, scoring five as Nigeria reached the semi-finals. Others have left China and performed at the top level in Europe . Guangzhou Evergrande’s Paulinho went to Barcelona and scored nine goals as they won the La Liga title in his only season before he went back to Guangzhou. Interestingly Barcelona nearly moved for Ighalo last season and almost had an agreement with Beijing Guoan’s Cedric Bakambu last week. "Ighalo doesn't fit into the vision and wasn't part of the plan" @sistoney67 breaks down Manchester United's transfer policy. Listen ⚽️: https://t.co/KYqLSWuhdZ #bbcfootball pic.twitter.com/1XboSf9BP6 — BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) January 31, 2020 But what do Barcelona know? Or Borussia Dortmund for that manner? The Bundesliga leaders brought Axel Witsel back from Tianjin Quanjian and the Belgian has been described as the team’s most important player after they finished second last season. Witsel’s international teammate Yannick Carrasco , who has returned to Atletico Madrid from Dalian Yifeng, is expected to reach the heights that saw him linked with some of the biggest clubs in Europe before moving to China. The public derision is all the more odd when coaches suffer no damage to their reputations for going to China. 1 - Odion Ighalo finished as the top goalscorer in both AFCON 2019 (five goals) and the AFCON 2019 qualifiers (seven goals). Trusted. #DeadlineDay #MUFC pic.twitter.com/nYU4KTwJFx — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 31, 2020 If anything it was more a shock that more players did not move from the Chinese Super League to Europe this window with the CSL suspended owing to the virus. As a short-term deal it makes sense. Shenhua get money in ahead of the salary cap and the player gets game time when his teammates could only play AFC Champions League games before April. Manchester United get an experienced international in a position they were short of going into the season , and are shorter still with Marcus Rashford injured. Yes there are questions to be asked but not of Ighalo and United fans might do well to remember that Eric Cantona, the club’s most important signing in the last three decades, came about by chance rather than design. Maybe in 20 years Ighalo will be in a Liam Gallagher video.