Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been pictured training ahead of Manchester United’s Europa League game with Zorya Luhansk, despite reports suggesting Jose Mourinho had given the Swede some extra time off.
Pictures of Ibrahimovic in Milan were released earlier this week, implying Mourinho handed the 34-year-old an extended break following successive games against Watford, Northampton Town and Leicester City in less than a week.
However, the striker was seen working hard with the first-team squad in preparation for Man United’s first ever meeting with the Ukrainian side.
It is, of course, conceivable that the Swede did receive some extra time off, and that today’s training session is Zlatan’s first exertion since his impressive performance against Leicester on Saturday. This would most likely mean that the 34-year-old misses out on a starting place for United’s first European game at Old Trafford this season, but with an important game against Stoke City on the horizon, resting the Swede is a pragmatic gesture from Mourinho.
At the age of 34, Ibrahimovic requires an alternate strategy when it comes to maintaining his superb physical condition. And Mourinho, a man who understands the striker very well, is clearly taking the right provisions in the interest of getting the best out of him.