How will Zlatan Ibrahimovic slot in at Manchester United?

Getty Images
3 Comments

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is on his way to Manchester United and he is reportedly having his medical in Manchester on Friday.

[ MORE: Full PL preseason schedule ]  

The Swedish striker, 34, announced via his social media accounts on Thursday that his “next destination” is Manchester United.

Ahead of the signing being officially announced, it is worth contemplating one key question: where does he fit in?

Below is a look at where he could slot in at United, as Jose Mourinho begins to assemble his squad (notice the inclusion of Henrikh Mkhitaryan ahead of his rumored transfer) for his debut season in charge at Old Trafford.


Manchester United lineup with Zlatan

—– De Gea —–

— Valencia — Smalling — Bailly — Shaw —

— Schweinsteiger — Carrick —

— Martial — Rooney — Mkhitaryan (?) —

—– Ibrahimovic —-

Conclusion

Mourinho has always liked to play with a strong, powerful striker up top — McCarthy at Porto, Benzema at Real Madrid, Drogba at Chelsea — who can hold the ball up and bring others into the game. His United team will be no different and Zlatan’s arrival will see him be the lone central striker.

That could impact the emergence of Marcus Rashford but then again, we all know how Mourinho feels about bringing through young players anyway. He will have a duty to give them more chances at United given the clubs history of promoting youth and given Rashford’s performances at the end of last season and brief outings for England this summer, we should expect him to split time with Zlatan in that central position.

With United in the Europa League, perhaps that is when Mourinho will play other youngsters such as Rashford and Timothy Fosu-Mensah but if he does indeed bring in Ibrahimovic on a one-year deal, he will play the majority of the games up to as a battering ram. He will look to get on the end of crosses from Martial and Mkhitaryan plus also link up with Rooney in the final third. He is more than just a bruiser and can create in and around the box too.

That is the way Mourinho has set up his teams in the past and it will be no different at United