Frank Lampard: Man United wouldn’t be challenging for top four without this player

The Chelsea legend believes Manchester United have relied upon Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the top-four race

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic Photo: Hublot

Frank Lampard has credited Zlatan Ibrahimovic as keeping Manchester United’s top-four challenge on track this season.

The Red Devils still have an outside chance of finishing in the Premier League’s top four in the 2016-17 campaign.

Ibrahimovic moved to Manchester United in a free transfer from Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain in last summer’s transfer window.

The 35-year-old striker has scored 17 times in 28 games in the current Premier League campaign – more than any other Manchester United player.

However, Jose Mourinho suffered a blow earlier this month when Ibrahimovic suffered a season-ending knee injury during a 2-1 win against Anderlecht in the Europa League.

Ibrahimovic’s prolific form has limited Marcus Rashford first-team opportunities in a centre-forward role in his first campaign under Jose Mourinho.

Speaking to Sky Sports about Ibrahimovic’s performances and how the Swedish striker’s arrival has affected Rashford, Chelsea’s record goal-scorer Lampard said:

“I think he’s stayed very patient this year. He couldn’t shout too much because Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been their talisman.

“They wouldn’t be challenging for the top four without him [Ibrahimovic] so it’s been hard for Rashford to get his opportunities. He took it brilliantly against Chelsea.”

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Manchester United battled to a goalless draw with Manchester City in the derby at The Etihad on Thursday night.

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