Jamie Redknapp: Zlatan Ibrahimovic reminds me of Eric Cantona

by Leo Nieboer

Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp has drawn a comparison between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and former red Eric Cantona.

The Swede, following a bombastic display against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, has 16 goals to his name since arriving in July.

He enjoyed a humoured exchange with Cantona back in the summer, who claimed that there could only be one king in Manchester. Zlatan responded in typical Zlatan fashion, claiming that he would be the ‘God’ of Manchester instead.

Redknapp, writing for the Daily Mail, claimed that Zlatan reminds him of the ultimate talisman.

“We had this idea that Zlatan was a bit of a bad boy but he is the ultimate pro. He has his own trainer and really looks after himself,” he said. 

“He reminds me of Eric Cantona, who changed the mindset of younger players at United in terms of doing extra training and how to take care of yourself.

“Zlatan may be a stop-gap signing but United’s young forwards like Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford will learn a lot from him – especially now he has signed for another year.

“His two goals helped United get a good result against an in-form West Brom and, with their fantastic players hitting their stride, they are on a great run.”

One downside of being born in 1998 is that, unlike many of you, I never had the chance to live through Cantona’s days at Old Trafford. Nevertheless, his legacy appears to live on, like a kind of intangible aura of joie de vivre that pervades Old Trafford to this day.

The similarity between the two, even to someone who never saw Cantona play, is hard to miss: that unquestionable air of arrogance; that sense of omnipotence; that ability to be spotted right away; and, of course, that unique magnetism on the pitch, providing United with a springboard from which to change games in the flash of a second.

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