Martin Keown: Man United deal shows Jose Mourinho really cares about proven striker

The Arsenal legend delivers his verdict on Manchester United's decision to sign up Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho Photo: Uefa handout

Martin Keown believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s new Manchester United contract highlights how much Jose Mourinho cares about the veteran striker.

The 35-year-old centre-forward signed a 12-month contract with the 20-time English champions on Thursday after the retired Sweden international left Old Trafford earlier this summer.

Ibrahimovic suffered a season-ending knee injury back in April during Manchester United’s 2-1 win against Anderlecht in the Europa League quarter-final.

The former Sweden international scored 28 times in all competition last season to finish as Manchester United’s leading goal-scorer despite being in the twilight of his career.

The Red Devils signed Belgium international Romelu Lukaku in a £75m deal from Premier League rivals Everton last month.

The former Chelsea forward has already scored three goals in two Premier League games for Manchester United after his return of 25 goals in 36 games in the top flight last term.

Ibrahimovic will be competing with the Belgian forward for a place in the Manchester United starting line-up.

Ex-Arsenal defender Keown believes Mourinho has a deep respect for Ibrahimovic after the Red Devils signed up the former Barcelona and Juventus striker for another 12 months.

“The move would show Mourinho genuinely cares about Ibrahimovic. He would be rewarding his remarkable recovery from injury,” Keown told the Daily Mail.

“Ibrahimovic has an inner strength. He has so much power and it looks like he has conquered the challenge of his first major injury.

“United have started the season incredibly well and what has impressed me is how their substitutes are keen to join the party as quickly as possible after coming on.”

Manchester United finished in sixth place in the Premier League table last season but won the EFL Cup and the Europa League.

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