Jose Mourinho admits he cannot drop this Man United player

Jose Mourinho talks up the importance of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to his Manchester United side

Jose Mourinho admits that he has no choice but to play Zlatan Ibrahimovic in every game because of his phenomenal form for Manchester United this season.

The Swedish striker has been one of the Premier League’s top attacking players since his arrival at the club from Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in the summer window.

Ibrahimovic has been a regular fixture in the Manchester United starting line-up this season and has repaid his manager’s faith in him by scoring more than 10 goals in all competitions so far this term.

The 35-year-old appears to have had no trouble adapting to the rigours of English football.

And Mourinho admits that he has been delighted by the impact Ibrahimovic has had so far this season at Manchester United as the hectic festive period in the Premier League looms large.

Speaking at his pre-match news conference ahead of Manchester United’s trip to West Brom on Saturday, Mourinho said: “Yes, it is impossible [to drop Ibrahimovic]. Tomorrow is the last effort and then they will have a week without football. And that is a week my players need, especially a guy like Zlatan, a striker.

“Sometimes in other positions you can hide yourself a little more, protect yourself with experience and with position. But he is in one of the positions where it is impossible to hide.

“He is phenomenal but I am not surprised at all. I knew from the physical point of view he could resist [tiredness and injuries] but obviously he cannot play 60 matches. I must give him a rest.

“I must leave him out a game eventually. He was suspended against Arsenal and in some matches in the Europa League he was on the bench, also against Northampton in the League Cup. So now and again I will find a way to give him a rest.

“But as our target striker we can see he is the only one. And the way we normally play we need him.

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“He is very professional in every aspect of his life. When you have him and Michael Carrick, at 35, the kids could not have better examples.”

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