Manchester United new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic has settled in well at the club so far, scoring the winner in the Community Shield and having a major impact on the youngsters. The Swede, who has played for Ajax, Juventus and Barcelona, was full of praise for Manchester United youngster Marcus Rashford – who took the Premier League by storm in the second half of the season last term.
Jose Mourinho will deploy Ibrahimovic as his main striker this season, with Rashford most likely being introduced when United are trailing or as a wide forward. It will be interesting to see how Mourinho nurtures the talent of Rashford, considering this is one of the key points that many critics of the Portuguese cite when assessing his capabilities as a manager [youth development and integration].
Ibranhimovic, who has been given the number nine shirt at Old Trafford, spoke of how he learned from the likes of Pavel Nedvěd, Gianluigi Buffon and club captain Alessandro Del Piero when he moved to Juventus in 2004 and alluded to the fact that Rashford does the same. He described Rashford as “the future of England”:
“I see Rashford as a huge talent.
I get to see him live every day now and he is the future of England. I got help from many players. I remember I went to Juventus, where all the big stars were. I saw the way they were behaving, how professional they were, how they were eating. You study all the same details and start to do the same. Then you become one of them.”
Rashford made his debut in February of this year and went on to score eight goals in eighteen appearances for United. His performances ensured he made the Euro 2016 squad, where he was the only player to come out of the 2-1 defeat to Iceland with any dignity – having been brought on with only four minutes to go.