The Swede, since joining on a free in July, has netted 16 goals in 25 games under Mourinho, with a superb record of ten goals in his last nine games.
Mourinho, speaking ahead of Man United’s Boxing Day game with Sunderland, was quick to heap praise on Ibrahimovic.
“He will end his career on a high, which is amazing,” he said.
“He’s not ending it in America or China; he’s ending it on the top of the top. I’m really pleased with him; his record is really good, and he can improve.
“With no penalties [among his 16 goals so far], it’s amazing too because normally the other guys who are top scorers score a lot of penalties. He had one penalty in 17 Premier League matches, so I couldn’t be happier with him.
“I’m really happy for him because maybe some people think he’s not a top scorer any more at 35 years old, not anymore because the Premier League is not La Liga, but 35 for him is the same as 25. In La Liga, it’s the same as in the Premier League – he plays well, he scores goals and I’m very happy for him.”
Perhaps the gloomiest aspect of the post-Fergie era, above anything, has been the side’s failure to unleash a truly spectacular goal-machine up front on a regular basis. United’s last Premier League triumph was spearheaded by the effervescent Robin van Persie, who netted 26 league goals as Sir Alex Ferguson‘s men strolled to another title. They were exciting and unpredictable, capable of blitzing opponents and changing the pattern of games in the flash of a second.
And finally, almost four years on, United fans have that spark up-front once again: someone with a bold, menacing presence, projecting a sense of arrogance and ruthlessness – a serial goalscorer, a distinguished, internationally known predator in front of goal. This is just the sort of thing supporters crave to see, and they’ll be desperate to see Zlatan carry his superb form into the new year.