Former Arsenal superstar Paul Merson recently revealed that Manchester United and Jose Mourinho missed the presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the club.
Just two days after the 3-1 humiliating defeat against Liverpool at Anfield last Sunday, Manchester United decided to finally sack Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho following a torrid run of games this season. The ‘Special One’ ended his tenure at United boss by winning the Europa League and League Cup back in 2016 but wasn’t really considered a success at Old Trafford after leaving the club in a very difficult spot.
However, according to Paul Merson, Manchester United and Jose Mourinho missed Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the club. The former Swedish international striker recently signed a contract extension with MLS side LA Galaxy but he left Manchester United last March. During Zlatan’s two year tenure at Old Trafford, the 37-year-old made a big impact as he notched up 28 goals in his first season which was crucial to United but his second season was plagued with injuries.
While speaking to Sky Sports on the Debate, the 50 year old Englishman Merson stated that the sacking of Mourinho was largely due to Zlatan’s departure which left a void at Manchester United, “Zlatan Ibrahimovic was a big miss for Manchester United, he was one of those players that Mourinho had in the dressing room where you didn’t need to keep on listening to the manager’s voice, and he would’ve picked players out.
Merson went on to add that Zlatan would not have taken what went on at the club during the last few weeks or months, “Zlatan would not have had what has happened in the last five or six weeks, He would not have had some of the results, being 2-0 down at Southampton and being absolutely run ragged by Liverpool. People will say they were trying, but let’s be honest, they got battered. It was embarrassing. I think Zlatan would’ve gone in there and he would’ve started to dig players out and years ago you would’ve seen the same with Roy Keane and Sir Alex Ferguson.”
I think that the problem with Manchester United lies deeper than just the manager and players and it is the board which also deserves a lot of the blame. However, it would have been interesting to see how Zlatan would have reacted to such situations.