Saturday 17 August 2019

Zlatan Ibrahimovic passionately issues statement of intent for Manchester United

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka has warned his players that Zlatan Ibrahimovic, pictured, is not Manchester United's only threat
Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka has warned his players that Zlatan Ibrahimovic, pictured, is not Manchester United's only threat

Samuel Lovett

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has issued a firm statement of intent after proclaiming his only purpose at Old Trafford is to deliver results for the club.

As a former player who has proved his talent at some of Europe’s biggest and most successful clubs, including Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, Ibrahimovic’s move to United was seen by some as a final opportunity to pick up a lucrative wage packet.

Indeed, earning an estimated £260,000 a week, the striker is one of United’s highest-paid players. But the 35-year-old has insisted that neither money nor his reputation as ‘Ibrahimovic’ played any factor in driving him to the Manchester club.

"But it's not like I'm in one place because I'm Ibrahimovic and 'he's there because his name is big.' I don't need that, I'm there because I'm bringing results and performing, I will not be there to waste time,” he recently told ESPN.

"That is not in my mind and that is not my way of thinking of the game because I'm in one of the best and probably one of the biggest clubs in the world. I'm here to bring results because if I'm not doing it, somebody else will do it."

The former Sweden international arrived to much fanfare in the summer as one of manager Jose Mourinho’s big-name signings and given his famed personality, both on and off the pitch, was immediately thrust under the spotlight.

Ibrahimovic’s slight dip in form mid-way through the first half of the season, in which he went six games without a goal, prompted many to suggest the striker was past his best – but his recent resurgence has alleviated any concerns the club and fans may have had.

The forward has now scored 12 Premier League goals for United and a total of 17 across all competitions.

Mourinho and Zlatan
Mourinho and Zlatan

Despite his age, Ibrahimovic has shown little signs of slowing down and suggested he has no immediate plans to quit life at Old Trafford.

"I don't know, as long as I feel physically good, I'm not worried for what can happen on the field because in my mind I know what I'm able to do and I'm doing it,” he added.

"So I don't know, depends on the circumstances, a lot of things fitting for me to continue."

This follows Mourinho’s recent admission that the striker is virtually undroppable.

Speaking in the wake of United’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace, in which Ibrahimovic clinched a late winner, the Portuguese boss declared that it had become increasingly difficult to leave the Swede out of his side.

“Yes, it is,” Mourinho said. “Especially a guy like Zlatan [and] as a striker. Sometimes in other positions you can hide yourself a little more, protect yourself with experience and with position.

“As a striker he is one of the impossible positions where you can hide. He is phenomenal and plays again tomorrow [against West Brom] and then one week to rest.

“I am not surprised at how good Zlatan has been.”

In light of Ibrahimovic’s form and worth, Mourinho has already suggested that the club will be looking to add an extra year to the player’s current contract, a move which would keep him at Old Trafford until June 2018.

(© Independent News Service)

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