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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Zlatan Ibrahimovic ready to start as Manchester United’s No. 10: Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho says he could start Zlatan Ibrahimovic as a number 10 for Manchester United after the Swedish striker made four Premier League appearances off the bench since returning from injury

football Updated: Dec 23, 2017 16:41 IST
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made four Premier League appearances for Manchester United since returning from injury.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made four Premier League appearances for Manchester United since returning from injury.(Reuters)

Manchester United star Zlatan Ibrahimovic is ready to start as a number 10, according to manager Jose Mourinho.

Ibrahimovic, 36, has been eased back into action since returning from a serious knee injury, making four Premier League appearances off the bench.

Ahead of his side’s trip to Leicester City Saturday, Mourinho said the Swede was ready to take a place in the XI – likely behind striker Romelu Lukaku.

“He’s an option,” the Portuguese tactician said.

“He played one hour, a bit more [against Bristol City], it could be that he is ready to start the match, 90 minutes is probably too much, it depends on the match.

“I think he’s ready to start.”

Questions have remained over how Mourinho planned to use Ibrahimovic after the close-season signing of Lukaku, who has 15 goals in all competitions this campaign.

Mourinho said there was no reason Ibrahimovic would be unable to step into a number 10 role for United.

“He played last match in that period in the second half where we replaced Lukaku for Daley Blind and Lukaku played number nine and Zlatan played 10,” he said.

“I know it was in a period when his energy was going down but obviously there are spaces where a number 10 plays.

“And even when Ibra was as a clear number nine, the space is where he feels comfortable to play, so why not?”

United are second in the table – 11 points behind league leaders Manchester City – ahead of their clash against Leicester.

First Published: Dec 23, 2017 12:20 IST