Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been a revelation for Manchester United this season. At the age of 35 he’s proved his doubters wrong by hitting a total of 28 goals across all competitions so far.
He’s been exactly the kind of player that you’d have hoped for, and the club’s season would be looking nowhere near as healthy without him.
His influence on the side has been crucial, and now the Red Devils are doing all they can in order to convince him to stick around for another year beyond the end of the summer.
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By contrast, young forward Marcus Rashford has struggled to reach the same levels of consistency he found since breaking into the first team last term. Many expected him to burst straight out the blocks following an impressive maiden campaign, but he hasn’t been able to live up to the expectations.
However, having said, in recent weeks he’s been putting in the kind of performances that got people so excited initially with goals against both Chelsea and Anderlecht in crunch encounters.
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The 19-year-old showed his class against the league leaders at the weekend by finishing off a lovely through ball from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and while Ibrahimovic has proved himself a world class finisher, you just couldn’t imagine him tucking that one away.
Speed has never been one of Zlatan’s strong points, and now at 35 it’s not likely that he’ll outpace anybody anymore.
And it is for that reason that United legend Paul Scholes would play the youngster ahead of the veteran Swede in big games.
In instances when the Red Devils need to play counter-attacking football, Scholes thinks that Rashford’s presence on the shoulder of defenders will be much more effective in breaking through the lines, rather than waiting for Zlatan to produce a moment of magic.
What’s ironic is that Rashford may well get his chance in the coming weeks after Zlatan went off injured during the Anderlecht game. Something which Scholes feels the youngster will benefit from.
“He will get his chance in the next few weeks looking at that. It doesn’t look great,” Scholes said on BT Sports.
“Although he has walked off which is hopefully a good sign.
“We saw on Sunday the effect Marcus had on his own, he was a real handful against Chelsea.
“If Zlatan does miss out we know we’ve got a top player who can come into his place.
“Zlatan wasn’t great tonight. He missed a few chances.”
Though he still has some way to go to fulfilling his potential, he has displayed already that he has what it takes to be a devastatingly good player who can go all the way if he applies himself.
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