Manchester United players are coming back from international duty for the crucial part of the season. After the end of the World Cup qualifiers, there will be no international football until late March. Therefore, it is quite good news some of the most important Manchester United players are getting back in shape.
According to journalist Neil Custis, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba could be on the bench for Man United this weekend against Newcastle. More importantly, the two players will be match fit really soon. They should be a big boost to Jose Mourinho’s side.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic “Feels Like A Number Ten”
Still, in a Volvo video, Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not only talk about his return to full fitness. He also talked about the number on the back of his shirt. The Swedish striker has changed this summer his number from nine to a number ten. His words indicate a different kind of role at Manchester United this season.
“To me, number 10 is the star. The one who makes the difference, gets noticed, wins the matches and is the leader. And I see myself in that position but it is not something that is given to you, it is just something you are, that’s just the way it is”, Ibrahimovic said.
Could He Do It In The New Role?
Could this really mean Zlatan will play in the number 10 position? Last season he was a classic number nine, playing as a lone striker. However, his style of play is not similar to Romelu Lukaku’s. Ibrahimovic likes to drift much more, coming deep towards the centre of the pitch. He likes to participate more, while Lukaku is around-the-box type of predator. It is not impossible picturing Zlatan in the number 10 position, creating chances for others and being a threat from a deeper position.
“To be honest, it is like a trigger for me coming back from that injury. Because I wore the number 10 on the Swedish national team and PSG. I would have worn it at Inter but I soon moved to Barcelona. I wanted it in Milan but took another number out of respect. In Ajax I didn’t have it. I feel like a ten and I stand for number 10. It will go down in history that I always had number 10”, Ibrahimovic insisted in the interview.
As he is recuperating from a cruciate ligament injury, Ibrahimovic explained how it felt to experience such an injury.
His Leadership Is Needed At All Times
“I tried to take down a ball with my chest and timed the landing wrong, I stuck my legs out and landed completely wrong. The leg went backwards and then it was pulled out. I have never been hurt, but then I felt I swallowed my tongue. It was a strange feeling that I had never known before.
“I told myself it’s just a bang up. But when I got up, I felt that the leg was not in balance. In the locker room they started to check the leg but without an X-ray it was impossible to say exactly what the problem was. It turned out to be a cruciate ligament injury”, Ibrahimovic concluded.
Whether he will be part of the matchday squad this weekend or not is a less important thing. Ibrahimovic has recuperated in a record time when no one expected him to return in 2017. His leadership and football skills are much needed to any team. Hopefully, Manchester United will take the best out of it in the coming months.