The Manchester United legend says the big Swede’s impressive fitness levels are behind his phenomenal first season in English football
Paul Scholes says Zlatan Ibrahimovic still has the demeanour of a 30-year-old as the striker continues racking up the goals for Manchester United.
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Ibrahimovic netted his first United hat-trick against Saint-Etienne on Thursday to take his season tally to 23, and club legend Scholes has told Goal that the Swede’s fitness regime has helped him to prolong his career and silence the doubters.
“There’s always going to be doubters,” said Scholes. “I wasn’t 100 per cent sure myself when a 35-year-old centre-forward comes over, but when you look at him he’s not a 35-year-old really with his physique and the way he looks after himself, he’s still a really fit lad. You’re probably still looking at a 30-year-old really!”
And Scholes added that Ibrahimovic has done a fantastic job for United regardless of his age, fitting in perfectly as part of Jose Mourinho’s fluid system.
“He’s been very good. I would have been worried if he’d been here the last couple of years, but the style of football they’re playing now suits him down to the ground,” he continued.
“You knew he’d be good because he’s played at big clubs all around the world, it was never a signing that was a risk really as you knew he’d be capable of scoring goals and it’s proven so.
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“The only thing I would have liked to see is someone supporting him a bit better with a few more goals, that’s the only thing and probably where the problem is: there’s probably a little bit too much pressure on him scoring goals. But he’s delivered, you have to say that. Twenty-plus goals in a team that’s sixth at the minute is fantastic.”
United face Blackburn Rovers next in an FA Cup fifth-round clash before taking their 3-0 Europa League advantage to Saint-Etienne for the return leg.
Ibrahimovic’s hat-trick on Thursday took his total against the Ligue 1 side to an incredible 17 goals in 14 matches, including three hat-tricks.
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