Pundit: Man United aren’t a better team without this player

Ray Wilkins praises Zlatan Ibrahimovic's impact at Manchester United this season

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic Photo: Tag Heuer

Manchester United aren’t a better team without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to Ray Wilkins.

The former Sweden international moved to Manchester United in a free transfer from Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

Ibrahimovic has scored 17 times in 29 games in the Premier League for Manchester United, defying his critics who suggested the striker would struggle in the English top flight.

Indeed, the 35-year-old has netted 28 times in all competitions to help Manchester United reach the Europa League semi-finals, while he scored twice in a 3-2 win against Southampton in the EFL Cup final.

However, some of the striker’s detractors have suggested that Manchester United could flourish in his absence after Ibrahimovic suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Europa League last month.

But Wilkins believes Ibrahimovic’s absence will be sorely felt, even if Marcus Rashford gets a chance to shine in Jose Mourinho’s first-team.

“I don’t think Man United are a better team without Zlatan. I think Jose Mourinho signing Zlatan was a masterstroke. He has been incredible for them. They’ll miss his sheer presence. He brings other players into the game. The other players have respect for him,” Wilkins told Sky Sports News HQ.

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Manchester United played out a frustrating 1-1 draw with Swansea City at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

The Red Devils will take on Celta Vigo on Thursday night.

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