Jose Mourinho: What Zlatan Ibrahimovic gives Man United
The Man United manager offers some insight into Zlatan Ibrahimovic's role in the dressing room
Jose Mourinho has hailed Zlatan Ibrahimovic as a “positive influence” on the Manchester United team.
The Red Devils will be looking to record successive Premier League victories following a 4-1 win against promoted side Newcastle United at Old Trafford last weekend.
Ibrahimovic made his return from a long-term knee problem against the Magpies following a lengthy lay-off after he suffered the injury in the Europa League back in April.
The 36-year-old scored 28 times in all competitions last season as the Red Devils won the League Cup and the Europa League in their first campaign under Mourinho.
Manchester United opted to offer Ibrahimovic a new contract in August after his initial deal expired back in June.
The former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker will have to compete with £75m summer signing Romelu Lukaku for a starting spot in the Red Devils team.
Mourinho opened up about what Ibrahimovic brings to the Manchester United side ahead of their home clash against Chris Hughton’s impressive Brighton side.
“He’s always here, he’s always positive, he’s a good influence,” Mourinho told his pre-match media conference on Friday.
“It doesn’t change the fact he’s playing or not playing. That is important on the pitch because he’s one more option for us and I think it’s impossible for [Romelu] Lukaku to play every match, so we need this second option – another man, another striker.”
Manchester United lost 1-0 to Swiss outfit Basel in their penultimate Champions League group-stage fixture following Michael Lang’s 89th-minute winner.
The Red Devils are in second place and eight points behind current leaders Manchester City after 12 games.