Emmanuel Petit explains why Zlatan Ibrahimovic is nothing like Eric Cantona

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It all started so well for Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Manchester United.

Having seen him score a half-century of goals in his final season at Paris Saint-Germain, it's understandable why Red Devils fans were so excited about the striker arriving at Old Trafford.

The Swede initially seemed to take to English football like a duck to water, finding the back of the net against Bournemouth, Southampton, and Manchester City. Back at the start of the season, he just couldn't stop scoring.


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Since then, it's been a very different story, and he's managed just one in nine in all competitions; in fact, it's the longest goal drought of his career, though he does have very high standards.

When things were going well for Ibra, the comparisons started to be drawn with United legend Eric Cantona, not least because of their physical styles of play.

However, former France international and World Cup winner Emmanuel Petit is a man who knows Cantona well, and he insists Ibra doesn't cope with physical football nearly as well. 

No comparison 

"When people say Ibrahimovic is like Cantona ... he's not at all, not at all, at all," Petit told SFR Sport, as per

"'Canto', if he wanted to kick you in the head, he would do it. If he lost it, he would do it.

"Cantona was strong in the face of strong opponents, he stood up to them. Ibra, when you start to get at him in a match... I've seen the batterings he's taken in England, even if he replies sometimes.

"Yes, he has character and personality, but don't say 'Ibra' is like 'Canto'. He isn't at all."

He doesn't sound too happy, does he?

Goal drought 

Admittedly, very few players are in Cantona's league, but you'd have thought Ibra's one of them, and he has shown he can be bolshy leading the line for United.

It was widely thought that Ibra might need a little time to adapt to English football, but it is strange that, after such a positive start, the goals seem to have dried up.

Some United fans have been left frustrated by Zlatan's prominence in Jose Mourinho's plans, as it seems to have stifled Marcus Rashford, who's often been deployed out wide rather than up front.

Given his record, though, it's surely only a matter of time before he gets back to scoring goals.

How many goals do you think Ibrahimovic will score this season? Have your say in the comments. 

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United
Europa League

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