Marcus Rashford reflects on lessons picked up from Zlatan Ibrahimovic last season

by Leo Nieboer

Marcus Rashford has been reflecting on the lessons he learned during a year training alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Manchester United.

The 19-year-old, who made more appearances than any other Man United player last season, frequently enthused about training alongside the big Swede.

Ibrahimovic has been officially released by the club following knee surgery in April but could be offered a short term deal if he makes a successful recovery.

And Rashford, reflecting on his time alongside the Swede, was full of praise for the influence he brought to the dressing room.

“There was a lot to learn from him, not only from the football side of things but his mentality and the way he trains, and prepares for games,” he said.

“They’re the main things I took. We have different playing styles so to take things from his game was difficult. I had to look outside of football so I tried to take things from his personality and what makes him great.”

The teenager, compared to a year ago, comes across as a remarkably different individual, and one cannot help but think that Zlatan has had something to do with it.

For one thing, he seems capable of throwing his weight around. Think back to the away leg at Celta Vigo last season and the way he brushed aside a horde of angry players; the youngster, on that night, commanded a particular kind of presence that radically differed from the humble, boyish countenance he gave off when he first emerged in February 2016.

His quiet, respectful tone remains, but make no mistake: there is a new and unavoidably Zlatan-esque veneer of aggression implicit in Rashford’s game that could be vital next season.

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