Reports from reputable sources have it that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to return to full first-team training by the end of this month. This is coming several months after the Charismatic football striker who has featured for the likes of Ajax, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Barcelona and Paris St. Germain last donned the famous red of England’s most successful club.
The enigmatic Manchester United forward who recently turned 36 had ruptured ligaments in his knee back in April during a Europa League game with Anderlecht and was expected to be out until the New Year, but he has made an extraordinarily quick recovery.
The giant Swede who was recently offered a one-year contract extension by United following an impressive debut season in which he played a vital role in securing the Carabao cup and Europa League trophies for Manchester United is still thought to be some way off peak fitness.
Zlatan has been seen doing some light training at United’s Carrington training ground, running and shooting as he looks to regain match fitness and be ready to challenge new arrival and red-hot Romelu Lukaku for a starting berth in Jose Mourinho’s new-look team which has been rocked by recent long-term injury to key players such as Paul Pogba and Marcos Rojo.
The former who was in fine form prior to the injury had ruptured his hamstring in a Champions League match against FC Basel and Mourinho recently affirmed that he would be out for at least six weeks effectively ruling him out of a crucial run of matches that would see United face Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho has repeatedly refused to be drawn into giving a definite date for Ibrahimovic’s return but has nonetheless included the Swede in his Champions League Squad for the group stage a clear indication that the Swede could be back in action soon to help fire the red half of Manchester to their first EPL title since 2013.
Following United’s 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the Premier League, Mourinho acknowledged that the absence of the striker who found the net 26 times last season will prevent Lukaku from being rested as he currently remains the only out and out striker within the United squad who Mourinho trusts perfectly.
According to the charismatic Portuguese, Lukaku will have to shoulder the goal scoring burden single-handedly until such a time that Zlatan is considered fit enough to terrorize defenders as he sees Rashford primarily as a better Winger.