Michael Owen: This is what Zlatan Ibrahimovic needs to improve at Man United

by Leo Nieboer


Former Liverpool and Manchester United striker has claimed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic needs to improve his positional sense in the box under Jose Mourinho.

Ibrahimovic netted the winner in Man United’s 1-0 win over Zorya Luhansk, heading home from close range after 69 minutes.

The Swede now has six goals to his name after ten games, emphatically silencing those who attacked the striker for being too old upon his arrival to United in July.

However Owen, speaking on BT Sport, is still not convinced by the 34-year-old, and attacked him for a lack of urgency in the box.

“His movement disappoints me a bit. He just stands a lot,” Owen said.

“Because of his height he gets away with it.

“There was no movement from him. He just tends to stand at the back post and wait for the ball.

“There were a few crosses tonight and he stayed in the same position.”

In the opening stages of his time at Old Trafford, Ibrahimovic has already scored three headers. Not bad for someone with “no movement.”

An incredible aspect of Ibrahimovic’s game is that he doesn’t need to master the art of stealth and intelligence in the box in order to be effective (something the 5ft 8 Owen needed to perfect).

A fitting example of this would be his first goal against Southampton: a floated, seemingly harmless ball from Wayne Rooney was sent into the box, and out of nowhere came Ibrahimovic, rocketing an unstoppable header past Fraser Forster. The Swede’s stature is so gargantuan that all he needs is a hopeful punt in order to generate a shot on target.

Ibrahimovic could, of course, take Owen’s advice and work on his intelligence in the box. But with 398 career goals and 31 trophies to his name, something tells me that the Swede is happy with his current modus operandi.

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