Marouane Fellaini said Manchester United can be thankful they have Zlatan Ibrahimović after the Swede dragged the Reds to EFL Cup glory.
The 35-year-old scored twice on Sunday at Wembley, the first an excellent free-kick and the second an unstoppable header past Fraser Forster. Those two goals were his 25th and 26th of the season, an incredible return for any striker let alone someone of Ibrahimović's age.
"We can thank Zlatan," says Fellaini
Fellaini admitted United must "thank" Ibrahimović, but insisted he brings more than just goals, it's also about his 'character' and that is rubbing off on the team.
It's a claim many have made, including multiple members of the United squad. Others have compared the Swede to the legendary Eric Cantona because of the clear respect the younger players in Mourinho's squad have towards their talisman. 19-year-old striker Marcus Rashford has previously spoken of how he's learnt from Zlatan.
"We can thank Zlatan because he's there at the right moment, he scores goals," Fellaini said, as per The Mirror.
"He's a very important player. But everyone has been in important in all the games. I have a good relationship with him."
Ibrahimović's 'character' and 'desire' vital
Fellaini, though, admitted that "everyone knows he's a great player," but it's "that he works hard" and "that he has his character" and "that he always want to win." That's what people should remember because Fellaini suggested that "you see [evidence of] that in training."
"During games, he's the first one to want to win. And that desire to win is good for the team."
Ibrahimović's future has been the subject of much speculation recently. United boss José Mourinho suggested he will not beg the Swede to stay at the club, with his one-year deal set to expire this summer, but that he expects the club's fans would be happy to camp outside his house to convince him to stay.