Author: Kayode Ogundare
Recuperating Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes his Manchester United comeback is easier and less pressured thanks to the form of team-mate Romelu Lukaku as it will give manager Jose Mourinho more attacking options to choose from.
Lukaku has hit the ground running at United following his £75million arrival from Everton, scoring 11 goals in 14 matches in all competitions – seven of those in the Premier League.
Ibrahimovic – back at Old Trafford after becoming a free agent temporarily following a serious knee injury suffered in April – scored 28 goals during his debut season in Manchester having shouldered much of the goalscoring burden as United won the Community Shield, EFL Cup and Europa League.
The 36-year-old Swede, who is tipped to return to action in December, knows he faces a battle to win a place in Jose Mourinho’s starting XI but the former Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Barcelona star is relishing the presence of Lukaku.
“I’m part of the team, I bring my qualities the day I come back and am able to play. I bring my spirit, my mental part, my experience, and my qualities,” Ibrahimovic told Sky Sports.
“The team is stronger this season. Lukaku is in the team scoring a lot of goals, and he is making the job easier for me, because last year when we were playing we could not change that role.
“We had one scoring the goals, and doing that job, and there were no variations for the coach. This season it is easier. Lukaku is only positive, because he makes my ‘comeback’ less pressured, it gives me a lot of time, and I’m happy for that.
“The more time I get, the better it gets. He’s scoring his goals and doing what he needs to do. When I come back, the coach is there, we will see how things go.
“I think I have a lot to bring. Now I have been off for six months, how much more it will be we don’t know, but trust me when I come back I will be motivated. Very hungry.”
United welcome high-flying Tottenham to Old Trafford on Saturday, with both teams level on 20 points and five adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City.