Eric Bailly: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is very important to Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Eric Bailly has explained why Zlatan Ibrahimovic is so important to Manchester United, noting that the Swede’s experience and determination helps those around him.

The Swede’s arrival over the summer prompted murmurs of doubt surrounding his age, but the 35-year-old has emphatically silenced critics by claiming 28 goals in all competitions so far this season.

Man United fans will be desperate to see Zlatan, who has refused to comment on his future, sign a clause on his existing contract that enables him to stay for another year.

And Bailly has reiterated similar sentiments, joining other teammates in proclaiming the Swede’s importance to Jose Mourinho‘s side.

“He has a great value amongst the team,” he said. “He brings us experience. His determination, he is very important to the team.”

“He is someone important, we are very lucky to have him, so we will enjoy his experience and use it to go forwards.”

It goes without saying that United’s transition into next season would only be complete with Ibrahimovic still occupying the squad. Mourinho has created a team that has, in one way or another, revolved around the Swede’s indomitable mental and physical strength; his presence alone invokes a sense of identity that eluded the side under Louis van Gaal.

Whether Zlatan will stay another year is entirely dependent on how he feels on both a physical and mental basis. With this in mind, his remarks following United’s 3-0 win over Sunderland made for promising reading.

“It seems like the older I get, the smarter I become,” he boomed. “I feel like Benjamin Button, I was born old and I will die young.”

With just over a month left until Zlatan makes a decision over his future, the Swede is clearly demonstrating no signs of letting up any time soon.

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