Jonas Olsson: Zlatan Ibrahimovic can be Manchester United’s new Eric Cantona

by Leo Nieboer

West Bromwich Albion and Sweden defender Jonas Olsson has declared Zlatan Ibrahimovic can be Manchester United’s new Eric Cantona next season.

The Swede has already endeared himself to the Man United faithful after scoring a just three minutes into his first game in a red shirt, alongside netting the winner against Leicester City in the Community Shield.

Cantona, upon Ibrahimovic’s arrival, reminded the 34-year-old that there can only be one “king” of Manchester.

However Olsson, who has been a teammate of Zlatan for six years, is adamant that the striker can become ‘King Zlatan’ like ‘King Eric’ before him.

“Zlatan thought twice before he signed for Manchester United,” he revealed.

“We texted a little between the spring and the late summer. I told Zlatan that Manchester United would fit him perfectly.

“The personality that Zlatan has is just like when Cantona was there.

“Manchester United have lacked this kind of representation with the fans in recent years.”

“This is still a big step for Zlatan. He has a great career behind him. He is almost 35 now, but he has a few years left in his career before it is finished and he wants to be remembered for what he does at United.”

The legend of Cantona is eternal. Even for someone who wasn’t alive to witness the Frenchman first hand, that image of ‘King Eric’ strutting across the pitch, collar up, ready to make a fool of his opposite number still produces goosebumps. He had a unique aura of superiority, of being somehow different and inestimably dangerous – something rooted in his immense confidence and unyielding winning mentality.

Such a presence can be found in Zlatan as well. Like the King before him, Ibrahimovic, who now has 31 trophies to his name, possesses the mentality of a true champion. United fans will hope that the Swede will fulfil his promise of eclipsing Cantona’s ‘king’ status, becoming the “God” of Manchester in the coming year.

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