Mourinho: Ibrahimović will have to earn back his place

Mourinho: Ibrahimović will have to earn back his place

United boss José Mourinho will not guarantee Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimović a place in the starting lineup once he returns from his ligament injury.

JoshuaDawson
Joshua Dawson

After being a free agent throughout the summer, striker Zlatan Ibrahimović re-signed for the Manchester United last Thursday on a one-year deal. The 35-year-old is still recovering from a serious double knee ligament injury and may not be available until the New Year.

No guarantees

Ibrahimović scored a total of 28 goals for the Old Trafford side, a reason why boss José Mourinho feels the club has a duty to bring back the player. However, the Portuguese reiterated that United's new number 10 isn't guaranteed a place in the starting line-up.

“Zlatan is going to arrive in a made team,” said Mourinho. “He is going to arrive in mid-season with the team playing in a certain way and with players having what I call functional links in the dynamic of the team, so nobody should be worried with Zlatan."

Mourinho added that Ibrahimović knows his role in the team and understands that he won't get straight back into the side.

“Zlatan knows me, and he knows I play the players I think are best for the team. I always did that in my life so if he comes here and he proves he is the best, he plays.

“If the other ones don’t give him a chance to prove that, that’s life.”

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Out since April

Ibrahimović has been out of action since he tore his anterior cruciate ligament during United’s Europa League tie against Anderlecht in April. This meant he missed the final against Ajax in which his team won 2-0.

The Swede was beaten to the title of Europa League Player of the Year by teammate Paul Pogba earlier in the week. The winner was announced after the Champions League draw in Monaco.

United were handed a relatively kind start to their Champions League campaign after drawing Benfica, FC Basel and CSKA Moscow in the group stage. The Red Devils play their first game at home to FC Basel on the 12th September.

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