Is anyone really surprised by the speed of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament?
The Swede suffered the injury in April but in August, just four months on, was posting videos on Instagram of him kicking a punching bag with the same leg that was hurt.
Ibrahimovic has defied logic throughout his career, scoring 28 goals in his debut season at Manchester United at the age of 35, and it’s a testament to his attitude and work rate that Jose Mourinho has offered the striker a new contract at Old Trafford.
The fact that Ibrahimovic has been included in Man United’s Champions League squad suggests he could be back on the pitch this year.
And what a boost his return will provide to a team that already looks primed for a shot at the Premier League title.
It’s easy to think that Romelu Lukaku, Man United’s No.1 forward, would be concerned by Ibrahimovic’s comeback, but it says a lot about the former Sweden international’s character that the £75 million is pleased with the decision to bring him back.
“I said to Zlatan I hoped he would be back,” Lukaku said, per Goal. “We need his personality,” he said. “He will bring many qualities to the team, and help us in our goal of winning the title."
“I don’t fear the competition as a striker, or Zlatan.”
Ibrahimovic's message to Mourinho on Twitter
Ibrahimovic continued to excite Man United fans ahead of his impending comeback on Friday evening when he posted a video on social media.
Now, the video itself isn’t highly entertaining. Ibrahimovic features on a treadmill as he continues to regain his fitness.
But it’s the caption that has caught everyone’s attention.
“Tell Jose I’m coming,” the former Barcelona striker wrote.
Man United fans loved it
Here’s how Man United fans reacted to Ibrahimovic’s post on Twitter:
No guarantees to start
Jose Mourinho has options going forward, including Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, but in Ibrahimovic he has a player who knows what it takes to win a league title.
The Portuguese has already warned Ibrahimovic that he’ll have to work his way into the starting line-up upon his comeback.
“Zlatan knows me,” Mourinho said, per The Guardian. “And he knows that I play the players that are the best for the team.
“I always did that in my life so, if he comes here and he proves that he is the best, he plays.
“If the other ones don’t give him a chance to prove that, that’s life.”
Whether from the bench or in the starting XI, Ibrahimovic will have an important role to play this season.