It’s fair to say Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made a pretty impressive start to his Manchester United career.
He scored just three minutes into his debut, producing a bicycle-kick against Galatasaray during a 5-2 friendly victory. The 34-year-old also helped his side to their first piece of silverware by scoring the winning goal in Sunday’s Community Shield against Leicester.
Mourinho, of course, knows all about Zlatan. The pair worked together at Inter Milan during the 2008/09 campaign, where they won Serie A. It’s obvious that they hit it off immediately and have continued that relationship throughout their respective careers.
So, when Ibrahimovic’s contract expired at Paris Saint-Germain this summer, there was only one destination for him - a reunion with Mourinho at Old Trafford.
And, although he’s coming towards the end of his career, Ibrahimovic still has the ability to help the Red Devils return to the summit of English football.
Ibrahimovic has surprised his teammates
While Mourinho widely expected to see Ibrahimovic be an immediate success, he’s admitted that some of the players at the club have been surprised.
“I think probably the other players are surprised. Not me because I know him. But probably the other players are surprised,” said Mourinho, who was speaking exclusively to BT Sport.
“Not with his quality, because the quality everybody knows. Probably a bit with his commitment and motivation because we are speaking about a 34-year-old man that won so much in his career, but probably even more surprised with the person.
"He is a good guy. What he looks like, it is not what he is. The words he says, he says for fun. He is the guy capable to go to the kitman and say ‘please give a towel to God’ and then laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh and laugh. The image he sells is not him, he is a good guy.”
However, after Ibrahimovic’s arrival, there were major concerns about the future of Marcus Rashford.
The 18-year-old broke into the first-team in remarkable fashion last season and there were fears that his growth will be stunted by Ibrahimovic.
A gift for Rashford
But Mourinho believes that the enigmatic Swede is a ‘gift’ to Rashford.
“He is brilliant with the young boys,” he insisted.
“I think for Rashford this is a gift. People can say he is not going to play every game from the start, like in the second part of last season, but this is a gift for the kid, too.
“We are so happy to have him and for two years, probably the last two years of his career, he probably couldn’t find a bigger league to finish his career and we couldn’t find a better striker in this moment of our building process of our team. We couldn’t find a better striker than him to give us the stability we need.”
Watch the full interview with Jose Mourinho on BT Sport 1 from 10pm tomorrow. BT Sport is the only place to watch all four major football competitions in one place, with exclusively live coverage of the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and the Emirates FA Cup.
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