Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his return to action on Saturday, seven months after suffering a career-threatening knee injury, after coming on as a second-half substitute in Manchester United’s 4-1 victory over Newcastle.
The 36-year-old, who rejoined United on a one-year deal after leaving Old Trafford at the end of last season, came on for Anthony Martial in the 77th minute and almost marked his comeback with a sensational acrobatic goal.
Zlatan didn’t score any of United’s four goals but everyone associated with the Red Devils is just delighted to see him back in action.
The former Sweden international is one of the team’s leaders; a huge influence inside the dressing room and the man that every member of the squad looks up to.
Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his admiration for Ibrahimovic over the years and it will be fascinating to see how the Portuguese coach uses the charismatic centre-forward and Romelu Lukaku over the coming weeks.
The most likely scenario is that the two forwards will be rotated; however, they were on the pitch together for 15 minutes against the Magpies at the weekend.
Carragher spotted what Zlatan said to Lukaku
Jamie Carragher, analysing the match on Monday Night Football, spotted what Ibrahimovic said to Lukaku when he entered the fray against Newcastle.
“You watch him when he comes on,” Carragher said. “I think this is hilarious. I don’t know whether Mourinho had told him to say this - ‘get on the right wing!’ - and Lukaku does it.”
Both Carragher and his MNF co-pundit Craig Bellamy found the footage very funny and you can watch it here…
Carragher: I don't think they can play together upfront
"I don't think they can play together as a front two," Carragher added when talking about Ibrahimovic and Lukaku. "I think that's the most important goal in that 4-1 victory. Talking about Zlatan and the impact that might have on Manchester United, everyone says it is fantastic to have him back, and it is, to have a player of that quality.
"I just think going forward, the confidence the goal will give him, he hasn't scored for a while, and the big man is back."
Bellamy agreed with Carragher
Bellamy agreed with his former Liverpool teammate.
"The concern with Zlatan is that he is such a big character, always the main man, wherever he's been,” the retired Welsh forward commented. “When Zlatan walks into the room everyone knows he's there.
"Would it impact my confidence? I imagine Lukaku really looks up to him. But it could become a problem, the energy Zlatan creates, it will be all about him, and it's always been that way.
"Forwards are a little bit different, forwards have to be that little bit more selfish about what you need to do for the team, it has to be a bit about you, because that's where you get your confidence, you win the games.
"Lukaku can't play anywhere else apart from up front, he can't play either side, so it's going to be interesting.
"The way I see it, there are a lot of games, both will get a lot of game time, but the problems will come when the big games arrive, in January and February, Champions League latter stages, the Manchester City games."
Video: Carragher and Bellamy give their opinions
Watch their analysis in full here...
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