Thursday 27 October 2016

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is on the verge of equalling a Manchester United record that has stood for almost a century

Tom Rooney

Published 24/08/2016 | 16:38

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Manchester United career has got off to a fine start
Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Manchester United career has got off to a fine start

As promised, Zlatan Ibrahimović has immediately galvanised Manchester United and, having found the net in his first three competitive games, the Swede is on the cusp of equalling a record that has evaded the club’s strikers for almost a century.

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Ibrahimović’s gargantuan ego and incessant peacocking is by no means everyone’s cup of tea, but his footballing pedigree and prowess in front of goal are beyond reproach.

Arriving at Old Trafford as a free agent following four dominant years at the tip of PSG’s attack, some wondered why the 34-year-old had been acquired when United could call on home grown teenage sensation Marcus Rashford.

He was recruited, Jose Mourinho explained, to shake up United’s deflated dressing with his winner’s mentality and impart that quality to youngsters such as Rashford.

To date, the teenager is yet to appear in the Premier League under Mourinho, and has reportedly been informed that he will instead feature prominently in cup ties.

Few could dispute that Ibrahimović is the club’s form attacker and, along with Chelsea striker Diego Costa, so far looks a good bet to top the goal scoring charts come season’s end.

On his debut, in the 5-2 win over Galatasaray at pre-season friendly, the former Inter Milan man found the net with one of his first touches as a United player.

With the Community Shield all square at 1-1, ‘Ibra’ outjumped Leicester’s Wes Morgan to head home the winner late on.

He registered a stunning strike in United’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on the opening day of the Premier League, and followed that up with another stooping header as Southampton were dispatched of by 2-0 at Old Trafford last Friday.

Ibrahimović is just the ninth United player to score in his first three competitive games, and the first to achieve the feat since Ian Storey Moore in 1972, as the club’s website has revealed.

However, should Ibrahimović continue his goal glut against a surprisingly in-form Hull City this weekend, he’ll find himself in even more rarefied company.

Almost 92 years have passed since Jimmy Hanson scored in his four games wearing the red jersey and, fittingly, the maiden strike came on his debut against Hull City.

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