Zlatan Ibrahimovic has taken to the Premier League better than anybody could have expected.
Even the most optimistic Manchester United fan couldn’t have foreseen Ibrahimovic scoring five goals in his first five appearances for the club.
The Swede has slowed down somewhat - one goal in his past six games - but he remains United’s leading man.
There were doubts whether Ibrahimovic could cut it in the Premier League after he spent four years in the considerably less demanding Ligue 1.
Ibrahimovic turned 35 today but is showing no signs of slowing down. It’s quite remarkable really when you look at the drop off in 30-year-old Wayne Rooney’s performance.
He’s keeping Rooney out of the team and is leaving his teammates awestruck. We haven’t heard from those doubters lately.
Much has been made of Ibrahimovic’s expertise in martial arts - he’s a taekwondo black belt - and it is this, as well as remembering to stretch each day, that Ander Herrara believes keeps the former Paris Saint-Germain star at the top of his game.
“I haven’t done karate, but I wish I could be as supple as he is,” Herrera said, per the Mirror. “You see the way he behaves, the way he trains even before the session. He’s always stretching, taking care of his body, so that is the way a professional player has to behave.
“When I wasn’t in a top team, I used to admire these kind of players. I wanted to be one of them one day, to be at Man United for eight or nine seasons, but it’s not easy.”
Herrera, who on Monday earned his first call up to the Spain squad, also admitted that Ibrahimovic takes training sessions just as seriously as he does matches.
“He’s unbelievable,” the 27-year-old added.
“He doesn’t lose one training session. He trains every day at his best, trying to get everyone at their highest level.
“He is very, very aggressive and demanding, but in a good way because every day he wants to win every training session and he wants everyone with him to win to keep working. We’re very lucky to have Zlatan with us."
You'd think he was 28
Herrera continued: “If you see a game and you didn’t know Zlatan’s age, you would think he was only 28 or 29 rather than 35 and that’s good for us.
“He’s a good example for every one of us. I’m not young, not old, I’m in the middle and he is an example for me. When you behave as a professional like him, you can be at a top club at 35.”