Monday, September 25, 2017

Ibrahimovic nurturing United talent – Lingard

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 Sep 2016

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Jesse Lingard has hailed Zlatan Ibrahimovic for taking Manchester United’s young stars under his wing in his first few months at Old Trafford.

Ibrahimovic arrived at United in July following the expiration of his Paris Saint-Germain contract and has settled in quickly.

The former Sweden international has scored five goals in nine appearances in all competitions, but his impact off the pitch has also been highlighted by Lingard.

“He’s been a leader for the team, especially when the captain’s not playing,” he said.   

“He’s stepped up and he’s really led the team. Obviously the young lads look up to him and most of the older ones do as well.

“When you see the things he’s done in his career [you can’t help but be impressed].”

He added: “He helps the young lads a lot. Especially me, Marcus [Rashford] and Paul Pogba. 

“He’s always there for us and always there for the team.”

Lingard also had praise for Wayne Rooney, the England captain having been dropped for last weekend’s Premier League win over Leicester City.

Rooney may not return against Zorya Luhansk on Thursday in the Europa League as Jose Mourinho looks to protect the striker, but Lingard is convinced the 30-year-old will come back stronger when fully fit.

“Wayne’s a top-class player and has won plenty for Man United,” said the United attacking midfielder.

“The manager changed the dynamic against Leicester and we did well but it’s important we stay together.

“He’s an advisor, a leader, he always gave me advice as I was breaking through and he’s done the same with Marcus and Tim Fosu-Mensah.

“I think he’s never going to change, [he will be] the same leader, [with] that aggression he’s got. But like anyone he’s got to bounce back and I think he’ll do that.”

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