Zlatan Ibrahimovic has spoken about the positive effects of having a player of Romelu Lukaku’s calibre in the squad as he edges towards his return.
Manchester United’s 2016/17 season was a forgettable one for many reasons. Their stuttering form saw them finish sixth in the league and despite the trio of trophies they managed to end the campaign with in May, the morale around Old Trafford still fell short of the heights the fans had become accustomed to over the years.
One of the real success stories of the season, however, came in the form of new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who after years plying his trade in virtually every top league in Europe, finally set down on English shores and in doing so, proved beyond any doubt that he could do it anywhere.
28 goals in all competitions saw Ibra come away as United’s top scorer by some distance, but with the likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford moved out wide, he became something of a lone figure up top.
Options weren’t overly plentiful when he injured himself against Anderlecht in the Europa League quarter-finals but with the acquisition of Romelu Lukaku from Everton over the summer, the fans can now rejoice in the knowledge that the Red Devils have more than one top-quality striker among their ranks.
With Zlatan still edging his way closer to full fitness, he spoke to Sky Sports and made it clear that the presence of Lukaku in the squad has made it much easier for him in his recovery. With the pressure now off, he can bide his time before taking up the number 10 jersey and attempting to replicate the success he found so frequently in his first season in Manchester.
Lukaku’s fine form at the start of the season appears to have slowed down as United’s momentum continues to dip into a rough patch but with the return of Ibrahimovic to look forward to, the variety of attacking options up front will at least be an ace up manager José Mourinho’s sleeve as we move deeper into the season.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena