Ryan Giggs urges Jose Mourinho to focus on finding Zlatan Ibrahimovic replacement this summer

by Leo Nieboer

Ryan Giggs has encouraged Jose Mourinho to place emphasis on securing a replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer.

The Swede, who claimed 28 goals last season, was released from the club after sustaining significant knee ligament damage back in April.

Man United are reportedly close to signing Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata, who even departed early from his honeymoon in Ibiza to help advance the deal.

And Giggs, speaking to M.E.N, has made it clear that Mourinho desperately needs to replace the goals of Ibrahimovic.

 

“The main thing they have got to do is find goals from somewhere because you can’t just rely on one person like they did last year with Zlatan Ibrahimovic,” he said. 

“Any successful side either has a 30-goal a season centre forward or they are like Liverpool and are scoring from everywhere. United haven’t got either at the moment.

“They need to bring in a striker who can score goals or Marcus Rashford has to score a load. The midfielders and defenders have to pitch in.”

“I’ve always said you need quality but also the character who can come to Old Trafford and make an instant impact just like Ibrahimovic did. You need a top proven striker who will come to Old Trafford and say ‘this is my stage’.

“I’ve not thought about individuals but it has to be someone who can score goals. Simple as that.”

People will, like I have done, point towards the 35-year-old’s 28 goals when discussing what role he played at Old Trafford. But he gave so much more than that. In fact, we may only really understand the significance of Zlatan’s time in Manchester long after he retires from football.

His role under Mourinho was rightly questioned on a tactical basis: surely the likes of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Anthony Martial and the like would have benefitted from somebody apt at running in behind and creating space.

But nobody can question that so much of Zlatan’s raison d’être at Old Trafford revolved around emboldening the attitude of the side moving forward. He has helped lay a platform for ruthless attacking success, and Mourinho’s task this summer is to find somebody capable of acting as the locus of this renewed sense of drive who can produce goals – and supplement a  faster style of play – over a prolonged period.

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