Rio Ferdinand: Man United need this to get the best out of Zlatan Ibrahimovic

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes Jose Mourinho’s side needs to be more clinical as a collective if they are to get the best out of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Swede made a rip-roaring start to his Man United career, netting five goals in his first six games, but has failed to score in any of his last seven matches.

United’s most recent outing, against Burnley, saw the striker manage 12 unsuccessful attempts on goal, missing a practically open net in injury time.

Ferdinand, speaking earlier this week, claimed the entire United side needs display more conviction in front of goal.

“Ibrahimovic has scored just once in his last 10 appearances and the team need him to get out of this rut,” he said.

“But he is an experienced player and knows what he needs to do. It will happen eventually, they just need it to end sooner rather than later.

“Manchester United had 37 shots in the 0-0 draw against Burnley last weekend, which was the most they’ve had in a league game since the 2003-04 season. They simply must be more clinical.

“Do that on Thursday and this side should get past Fenerbahce in the Europa League easily.”

If Ibrahimovic didn’t score in a game for Paris Saint Germain, it didn’t really matter. Mainly because another world-class talent would, more often than not, decide the game instead: Edison Cavani, Lucas Moura, Angel Di Maria – players capable of delivering game-changing performances.

This, no doubt, would have helped Ibrahimovic; the presence of other goal-scorers would have emboldened his own approach. At United, however, the dynamic is different: the 35-year-old serves as the side’s only real goalscoring outlet, and such monumental pressure will only have an adverse effect on his performances.

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