Marcus Rashford discusses Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s influence at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Marcus Rashford has heaped praise on Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s influence at Manchester United this season, noting that the Swede had taught him some valuable lessons.

The 35-year-old, who arrived at Old Trafford last summer, has claimed 28 goals in all competitions under Jose Mourinho this season.

Zlatan’s recent knee ligament injury, however, has cast doubt over his Man United future, with one report suggesting he had accepted that his career was over following such a big set-back.

But Rashford, speaking earlier this week, has noted that, however long Ibrahimovic remains at Old Trafford, the lessons he had already learned were invaluable.

“You will see the benefits in years to come,” he said. “What I have learnt from him is irreplaceable.”

It is, of course, impossible to play like Zlatan. Only the man himself can successfully convey that unique air of omnipotence and grandeur all over the pitch. But if you look closer at Rashford’s approach and compare it with last season there are a number of subtle – yet vitally important – changes that have developed.

The 19-year-old’s direct, bombastic style has remained essentially the same, but his overall awareness of what surrounds him has developed immensely. He has become less brash in what he does and more aware of those that surround him, as opposed to simply setting off with the ball.

What Zlatan has done, in effect, is broaden the youngster’s perception of the game, complimenting his precious rawness with a more holistic view of what he can do going forward. One just hopes he can continue in the same direction over the next year or so.

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