Zlatan Ibrahimovic described as a "leader" by Jesse Lingard
(Source: John Peters/Manchester United)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic described as a "leader" by Jesse Lingard

The Swede has wasted no time in influencing Manchester United players off the pitch and on it as well and Lingard believes that he has become a leader for the Red Devils.

Ninad Barbadikar

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been highly praised by his new teammates at Manchester United for his qualities on the pitch and also for his influence on the team off the pitch. Lingard has been one of those players and spoke about how Zlatan carries the presence of a "leader" with him.

The 34-year-old's experience in the game has helped the youngsters at the club and the some of the more experienced players as well. The Swede has a treasure of experience in his locker which he surely intends to use to help United get back to the glory days.

Always there for the team

It's hard to ignore the stats that the Swede has had so far in his career and those numbers have only grown since he joined United. Players like Lingard have immensely benefitted from Zlatan's arrival at the club.

While club captain Wayne Rooney's influence on the team is a huge factor, Lingard believes that Zlatan too has "been a leader" for the team when Rooney isn't playing and when the team needs leadership, Zlatan is the man they look up to.

Zlatan has had a positive influence on the young blood at Old Trafford | Photo: Matthew Ashton- Getty
Zlatan has had a positive influence on the young blood at Old Trafford | Photo: Matthew Ashton/AMA

What Zlatan has done on the pitch is more than just scoring goals. The Swede is a huge presence up front for United and is their focal point in bringing other players into play. He showed this against Leicester City with Marcus Rashford and Lingard, dropping deep to allow the youngsters to get in behind and linked up very well with them. With each game we see, we can notice the chemistry between Paul Pogba and Zlatan gets better and better.

The important thing for players like Lingard and Rashford is to keep learning and also giving their 100% back to Zlatan and providing him the service he needs to help the team in the best way possible. Zlatan was recently concerned about the lack of chances created against Zorya Luhansk, and he admitted that his teammates will have to do better in the chance creation department against more defensive teams like the Ukranian side.

Making the most of Zlatan's qualities important for United

Over the years, Zlatan has forged a fantastic career for himself with the biggest clubs in Europe and has had success that few in the world of football and lay claim to having. And it is that experience, that success, which makes him all the more of a leader for United. For the players, the qualities he possesses have been built over a long career and United players will look to learn as much as they can for as long as Zlatan stays at Manchester United.

Zlatan is never a conventional target man, he doesn't like to keep waiting for the ball to come him, he wants to be involved in each aspect of attacking play, be it dropping deep into midfield, picking out the pacy players who can get in behind defences, the Swede has the intelligence and the ability to do it all.

Zlatan celebrates his winner against Zorya in the Europa League | Photo : Laurence Griffiths | Getty)
Zlatan celebrates his winner against Zorya in the Europa League | Photo : Laurence Griffiths | Getty)

Zlatan's winning attitude is there for all to see in his play and also in the way he is off the pitch and while with his teammates, he is gradually building good chemistry with the players and the players as well are all too happy to such a world class striker like him in their ranks. After all, who wouldn't want the Swede in their team?

After the 1-0 victory against Zorya which was less than perfect, Zlatan and his teammates will be hoping to do better against a Stoke City team which is in its worst form possible and taking advantage of that will be important for United, as well as getting the first goal in the game. The fixtures in October are tough tests. 

Manager Jose Mourinho spoke about how the grueling schedule was a "poisoned gift", It remains to be seen how far is he right and if the team can respond in a positive manner and take it upon themselves to get maximum points from those games.