Jamie Carragher defends Man United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic: He’s been outstanding

The former Liverpool defender hails Man United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic as one of the Premier League's best players

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic Photo: Hublot

Jamie Carragher believes Marcus Rashford would have struggled to match Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal tally if the England teenager had started ahead of the Manchester United striker this season.

Jose Mourinho made the surprise decision to start with the 19-year-old striker ahead of their leading goal-scorer Ibrahimovic for the visit of Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.

The Manchester United manager was rewarded for his controversial team selection after Rashford broke the deadlock in the seventh minute as the teenager gave the Chelsea defence a torrid 90 minutes.

Ibrahimovic has scored 17 times in 28 games in the Premier League this season following his free transfer to Old Trafford from Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

Speaking to Monday Night Football about Ibrahimovic after calls for Rashford to start ahead of the Manchester United striker following Sunday’s performance, former Liverpool defender Carragher said:

“You shouldn’t get carried away with one game. Zlatan has been one of the best players in the Premier League this season,” Carragher said.

“Does he lack mobility? Yes, you know that when you sign him. The whole point of United having fast wingers and Rashford playing wide at times was to give you that [mobility]. You know Ibrahimovic hasn’t got that pace when you sign him.

“Do they play better? If Rashford played centre forward next season I don’t think he’d get the goals Zlatan has got. He may provide other things and help other players but let’s not forget it’s just one game, Zlatan has been outstanding this season.”

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Manchester United are in fifth place in the Premier League table but four points behind fourth-placed Manchester City.

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