Andy Cole claims Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not return for Manchester United until January

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole has confirmed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic won’t return to action until the new year.

The 35-year-old, who signed a new one year deal with the club back in August, has been sidelined ever since he damaged his knee ligaments during the 2-1 win over Anderlecht back in April.

It was recently claimed by ESPN that Zlatan would start to train at Carrington on a full-time basis by November, while other reports have hinted towards a return ahead of schedule.

But Cole, who was pictured with Ibrahimovic at the gym earlier this week, noted that the Swede wouldn’t be back playing until January.

“Really good. Back next year, I think, so he’s done well, really,” he said.

“He’ll get games because he’s got so much quality. And he’s brilliant in the dressing room. I love Zlatan. He tells you how it is. He’s legendary.”

Zlatan’s return naturally warrants an immense deal of attention. I mean, just imagine the moment he finally graces the Old Trafford turf once again. The place will erupt.

Constant speculation about exactly when that moment will be therefore makes sense. Some have said November. Others December. His agent, Mino Raiola, expects a January return.

And I think the latter prediction, as espoused by Cole, is the one we should go with. ACL ruptures take nine months from operation to fully recover – especially at the highest level of competitive sport – and, unless told conclusively otherwise, that is what we should expect with Zlatan as well.

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