Zlatan Ibrahimović targets Arsenal clash for Manchester United return

The Swede has identified the clash with The Gunners on December 2 as his return to first-team football.

Zlatan Ibrahimović targets Arsenal clash for Manchester United return
Above: Zlatan Ibrahimović in action for Manchester United in the Europa League | Photo: Getty Images/Laurent Lairys/Action Plus

Manchester United veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimović has reportedly targeted the December clash with Arsenal as his return to first-team action, after the Swede suffered a serious knee injury last April. 

Targeting an early return 

Ibrahimović had a stellar first season at Old Trafford after securing a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain last summer, the Swede managed 28 goals in all competitions which was crucial in securing United's three trophies in José Mourinho's debut campaign. 

However the 36-year-old's season was cut short in the worst circumstance as the Swede suffered knee ligament damage against Anderlecht back in April, despite knowing that he would miss a chunk of the beginning of the new campaign Mourinho offered the striker a one-year contract after he was initially released. 

United have made a good start to the campaign in Ibrahimović's absence but it is set to get a bit tougher going into the winter months, Ibrahimović has recovered quicker than many expected and has highlighted the clash with Arsène Wenger's men as his return to the first-team. 


Won't be getting a rest just yet 

The big Swede's goals have certainly not been missed thus far, with Romelu Lukaku's excellent start to his Manchester United career filling in that gap. 

The Belgian was brought in from Everton this summer as somewhat of a replacement for Ibrahimović, and has certainly hit the ground running scoring 11 goals in 10 games. 

Lukaku's form also saw him called up for Belgium in the recent World Cup qualifiers which has brought some concern to Lukaku's recuperation time, but ahead of the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace in which Lukaku scored Mourinho stated that it is unlikely Lukaku will be rotated until Ibrahimović makes a return from injury

"Without Zlatan we cannot rotate the striker," Mourinho admitted. "Especially because Marcus Rashford is playing also in other positions." 

"So until the moment we have Zlatan we cannot think about giving rest to our No. 9," the coach proclaimed. "The same way we give in other positions. We cannot do that."