Former Manchester United winger Jesper Blomqvist has praised Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s influence both on and off the pitch under Jose Mourinho.
The Swede, who arrived at Old Trafford in July, netted five goals in his opening six games, before going on an eight game goalless run.
Two smart strikes against Swansea City last time out ended his dry patch and took his tally for this season up to eight goals.
Blomqvist, speaking to ManUtd.com, made note of Zlatan’s commanding influence in all sectors of life at Manchester United.
“It’s obvious what Zlatan has brought to the club on the pitch – and not just directly,” he said.
“His movement allows space for others to create and score goals too.
“But he’s also just as important off the pitch, showing the youngsters how to be a good professional and setting an example. He still works hard, in spite of the fact that he’s won everything, and he enjoys it. That’s a good sign.”
Some players, through virtue of their very presence, invoke a kind of intangible magnetism. Almost as if they command recognition. Eric Cantona had it, of course; as did Zinedine Zidane; Cristiano Ronaldo has it. And Zlatan certainly fits into this category has this as well.
He is football’s closest thing to ‘Terminator’. One Northampton Town player actually said the Swede’s booming voice did indeed sound like the cyborg assassin.
That kind of aura is invaluable when it comes to building a winning side. Zlatan doesn’t set out to win; he sets out to dominate. And such an attitude can incite a broader serial winning mentality within this Man United side.