Sunderland and Sweden midfielder Sebastian Larsson has heaped praise on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, labelling the Swede as a true winner.
The 35-year-old, who arrived on a free in July, has netted 16 goals in 25 games, with his most recent episode of brilliance coming in the form of a match-winning brace against West Bromwich Albion.
Zlatan, with ten goals in his last nine games in all competitions, has 11 Premier League goals before Christmas – the last Man United player to replicate that feat was Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Larsson, who played alongside the 35-year-old for eight years at international level, hailed the striker for his serial winning mentality.
“He’s a true winner, that’s for sure,” Larsson said. “He doesn’t accept anything else but winning, whether it’s just training or whatever it is. I think that shows in the amount of medals he’s got during his career.
“It will be interesting but I definitely hope he draws a blank when he comes up against us. I’ve played against him plenty of times in training, that’s for sure, but I don’t think I’ve ever come up against him in a competitive match.”
Zlatan, as you’d expect, has been inundated by accolades and superlatives in recent weeks, with many praising the striker’s ability – even at the age of 35 – to overpower defenders at the peak of their game. Others have focused on the striker’s emphatic reaction to an eight game barren spell; Mourinho has even brought fictional characters into the mix, giving Zlatan the title of ‘superman’.
Underpinning all of that, however, is one thing: a brutal, unyielding winning mentality. His message from day one was clear. He wasn’t here for a pay-check or a holiday. He was here to score goals and win, win and win again at the masthead of United’s front line.
United fans will agree that, so far, they haven’t been disappointed.