Seeing Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in action was a sheer delight for Manchester United and their supporters.
The Swede returned one month ahead of schedule from the knee injury that ended his 2016-17 season, coming off the bench in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Newcastle United.
For any player to recover from a ruptured anterior crucial ligament before the expected date is impressive. For any player to do it at the age of 36 is remarkable.
But as the striker remarked after his return, “lions don't recover like humans.”
Ibrahimovic added, per Sky Sports: “If people knew what kind of injury I had, they would not believe this. People believe I only had an ACL injury, but I had more stuff in my knee that was injured.
"I want to keep that to myself, though, because I don't need to tell the world - it's very sensitive.”
Ibrahimovic has a part to play
Ibrahimovic was given a huge arrival when he arrived in the 77th minute in place of Anthony Martial.
The crowd inside would have gone mental had his scissor kick bounced in instead of being turned behind by Rob Elliot.
Romelu Lukaku is Jose Mourinho’s main man but Ibrahimovic still figures to play a key role this season, whether that be from the bench, alongside the Belgian up front or in a deeper position.
Saha has made a great point about Ibrahimovic
Former Man United striker Louis Saha doesn’t expect to see any drop off in Ibrahimovic’s performance because he plays more “with his brain that his physique.”
Saha also compared Ibrahimovic’s comeback to when Paul Scholes came out of retirement in 2012.
"I think Zlatan hasn’t been injured much in his career," Saha said, per the Red Devils’ website. "But, mentally he seems to be very confident about it.
"He doesn’t show fear and he has never been someone who will show it anyway. And he will bring confidence and leadership. The way he moves is more about his brain than his physique.
"You can’t really lose that because he is a big guy who knows how to move, knows the rhythm of the game so this is the thing he will never lose.
"It’s like Paul Scholes coming back from retirement, it is like he is still young and has the legs.
“But because of this level of player, they understand the game, they know how to give the information to the youngsters."
Ibrahimovic’s return has provided Mourinho’s squad with the impetus they need to hunt down Manchester City.
Watch: Ibrahimovic' return v Newcastle
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