The arrival of Swede striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has ousted teenage sensation Marcus Rashford from his starting role up front. However, manager Jose Mourinho has stated that the arrival of Zlatan could be a blessing in disguise for the young Englishman.
Zlatan has already silenced those doubting his efficacy as a central striker at the age of 34. He scored with a sublime scissors kick on his debut in pre-season and headed in the winner to lift the Community Shield in his first competitive match for the Red Devils.
The Swede striker is coming off a prolific season with PSG where he scored a whopping 50 goals in 51 appearances for the club. However, his move to Old Trafford will mean that youngsters Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford will not be playing in the central striker’s position.
Mourinho has dismissed this with his trademark panache, saying that Zlatan is a gift for the young players.
“He [Ibrahimovic] is brilliant with the young boys,” Mourinho told BT Sport. [via The Mirror]
“People can say he is not going to play every game from the start, like in the second part of last season, but this is a gift for the kid, too.
“We are so happy to have him. We couldn’t find a better striker than him to give us the stability we need.”
Last season, Marcus Rashford was included in the starting line-up after Anthony Martial was injured in the warm-up to Manchester United’s Europa League clash against FC Midtjylland. The teenager scored a brace on debut and three days later did the same against Arsenal in the Premier League. Rashford went on to become a regular for Manchester United in the second half of the season, scoring 8 goals in 18 appearances in 2015-16.
However, with the acquisition of Zlatan, Manchester United have one of the most feared strikers in the world. Jose Mourinho is hoping that his former ward at Inter can help the Red Devils rediscover their goal scoring prowess. Rashford will not be featuring as many times in this campaign as he was used to last season, but the Portuguese manager is keen to aid his development, and the teenager could take on the role of impact substitute or even be used as a cup specialist.