Thierry Henry: I like the way Zlatan Ibrahimovic plays at Man United

by Leo Nieboer

Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has heaped praise on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, tipping the Swede to score “a lot of goals” for Manchester United.

The Swede announced himself to English football through launching a 25-yard thunderstrike past AFC Bournemouth’s Artur Boruc on Sunday, and has attracted the admiration of many after making a rip-roaring start to his Man United career.

Henry, who played alongside Ibrahimovic at Barcelona, lauded the 34-year-old’s emphatic start to life in England.

“I like the way he plays now,” he said.

“He drops a lot more now, he has an eye for a pass. He will score a lot of goals for United.

“There is a lot of football left in him. People always want to hear about what he does or what he says, but he lives football – he respects the game, he loves the game. People don’t often say that.

“To be able to perform at that age and still do what he does, you have to live the right way – and he does it.”

What is often not recognised about Zlatan is his diverse range of attributes. He is someone who has scored goals – 394 over the course of 17 years, to be exact – and won trophies all his life, and it is often thought that this is all he does. And yet, such an assumption could not be further from the truth.

He is a supremely intelligent footballer: one facet of his game, revealed against Bournemouth, was his aptitude for dropping back towards the midfield, drawing defenders with him and providing space for the likes of Anthony Martial to exploit. Another important string to his bow is that famously immense physicality. Even at 34, the Swede still throws himself at defenders in the air, quietly wearing them out. And then there is his magnificent, unique deftness, personified most clearly by that inch-perfect back-heeled through ball to Wayne Rooney.

Needless to say, there is a lot to love about Zlatan.

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