Paul Merson sends blunt message to Man United about proven striker

The Arsenal legend says Manchester United didn't look like winning the title with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in their team last season

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic Photo: Hublot

Paul Merson believes Manchester United are a better team without Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The former Sweden international signed a new contract with the Red Devils last week after Manchester United re-signed the centre-forward.

Ibrahimovic’s one-year deal with Manchester United ended at the end of the 2016-17 season amid uncertainty about his future following a serious knee injury.

The 35-year-old initially moved to Old Trafford from Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain in a free transfer last summer following Jose Mourinho’s appointment.

Ibrahimovic scored 28 times in all competitions last term to finish as Manchester United’s top goal-scorer.

However, Manchester United produced some of their best performances without Ibrahimovic after the powerful striker’s season-ending injury in April.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson believes Manchester United play better football without Ibrahimovic in Mourinho’s starting line-up.

“This man is a legend, I don’t use that word loosely, he’s an absolute legend, he’s won titles in seven different countries, you don’t do that by luck,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“But as time moves on now, Manchester United are a better team without him in it, and they’ve got a better chance of winning the Premier League without him.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m a massive fan of this lad over the years, I think he’s been phenomenal.

“People said he was great last year, scored 28 goals, but Manchester United never looked like winning the Premier League last year.”

Manchester United finished in sixth place in the Premier League last term despite appointing Mourinho as Louis van Gaal’s successor.

The Red Devils won the Europa League and the EFL Cup to secure some silverware to end their season on a positive note.

Ibrahimovic scored twice in Manchester United’s 3-2 win against Southampton in the League Cup final at Wembley.

Manchester United have signed Everton striker Romelu Lukaku in a £75m deal this summer.

MORE: Latest Manchester United news and views

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