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Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Stan Collymore: Jose Mourinho should drop Zlatan Ibrahimovic against Chelsea

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Earlier today, rumours emerged that neither Wayne Rooney or Henrikh Mkhitaryan had travelled with Manchester United to face Chelsea on Sunday.

The revelation came per Manchester Evening News who, having spoken to photographers present at Stockport Station, revealed Jose Mourinho's 25-man squad, which you can read here.

Rooney's reported absence will be a huge talking point in the build-up to the clash at Stamford Bridge, though there has yet to be official confirmation.

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While Mkhitaryan being excluded won't come as a surprise - he's only just recovered from an injury - it's a wonder why Mourinho would make the drastic decision to drop his captain, instead of merely using him as a substitute.

However, according to former-player-turned-pundit Stan Collymore, Mourinho should make another brave decision when his players face Chelsea: benching Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

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A wild suggestion it might be, but in the ex-Liverpool striker's mind, dropping the 35-year-old might prove beneficial to United's chances of claiming all three points - and moving forward.

Writing for the Mirror, he said: "I now think it's time for the Old Trafford chief to consider whether there is an alternative to Ibrahimovic.

"People are asking if the striker's early-season enthusiasm has worn off and if Old Father Time is catching up with the Swedish great.

Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League

"Although the ex-Inter Milan star keeps himself in great nick, time waits for no man - and your name alone does not guarantee you a starting spot at a club such as Manchester United.

"He hasn't got the legs to push his side up the pitch. And ­although Ibrahimovic has been a brilliant spearhead, I think that edge has been blunted by his advancing years.

"He can use Anthony Martial in place of Ibrahimovic, with Juan Mata as a No.10. The little Spaniard is very rarely less than eight-out-of-10.

"He could also draft Marcus Rashford into pole position. Jesse Lingard, Rooney, Memphis Depay, Ashley Young and the lesser-spotted Henrikh Mkhitaryan would all have a shout of tucking in behind that three."

Manchester United v Stoke City - Premier League

Dropping Ibrahimovic would represent a huge risk on Mourinho's part, not just where goals are concerned, but also his presence on the pitch.

With Rooney absent and Chris Smalling recovering from a muscular injury picked up against Fenerbahce, United are already lacking leaders, placing greater importance on Ibrahimovic lining up against Chelsea.

Collymore makes a sound argument, but the reality of it is that Mourinho isn't about to bench one of Europe's most lethal strikers.

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
Football
Premier League
Chelsea
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League

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