Andy Walker: Zlatan Ibrahimovic can get Man United into the top four

by Leo Nieboer

Former Celtic striker Andy Walker believes that Zlatan Ibrahimovic can fire Manchester United into the top four this season.

Jose Mourinho‘s men currently sit four points adrift of the Champions League spots following two consecutive draws, and a further six points off second spot.

Ibrahimovic, since joining in July, has netted 19 goals this season – already eclipsing the total that saw Anthony Martial claim the top-scorer award for last season (17).

And Walker, speaking earlier this week, insisted that the big Swede’s contributions in front of goal could cement United’s place in the top four come May.

“The recent focus is on Wayne Rooney and his 250 goals,” he noted.

“But if you want someone who is consistent and who can do it every week, look no further than Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“I think the title is beyond United but clearly they want to finish in the top four and get in the Champions League and Zlatan can help them do it.

“Since coming in, he’s taken on the mantle of being at a club where every player has a great deal of pressure. He seems to love that pressure, he seems to thrive on it.

“He scores goals everywhere. Sometimes he can look a bit lazy, that he’s not that interested, but he’s the type of player that explodes into life.”

United fans, ever since Robin van Persie‘s superb 2012/13 season, have been deprived of the talismanic, enigmatic and ruthless presence at front that any club in search of silverware requires.

But Zlatan has emphatically filled this void in the space of a few months. He is the side’s reference point, their unrivalled menace at the mouthpiece of attack, exuding an air of omnipotence and steely determination. And nobody – especially those who insisted he would never make an impact back in July – can rule out the prospect of Zlatan single handedly firing United back into the top four this season.

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