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Zlatan will have a bigger impact than Pogba – Souness

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will have a bigger impact at Manchester United this season than Paul Pogba, according to first-division great Graeme Souness. 

Pogba is expected to complete his move to Old Trafford in the coming days, having flown into Manchester for a medical on Monday.

He is set to become the most expensive transfer of all-time, with United reportedly paying almost £100million for the French international from Serie A side Juventus.

However, Souness – winner of five league titles with Liverpool – believes Ibrahimovic will steal the headlines at United in 2016-17.

“I think Pogba is a statement signing – I still think £100m, for a midfielder who gets 10 goals a season, is too much money,” Souness told the Mirror.

“If, in the current market, Pogba is worth £100m, [Lionel] Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Luis] Suarez must be worth double if they were the same age.

“I am yet to be convinced. I don’t see him changing that many games. In the last couple of years, Manchester United have not had a bad bunch of players – not a top group – but they have underperformed.

“Right now I would say Ibrahimovic will be a bigger influence for United over the next nine months because he has an attitude and a charisma about him that will drag the lesser lights along.

“They have been screaming out for a big personality like Ibrahimovic who will fall out with people occasionally in the dressing room, will point the finger and will lead by example. I think they have been crying out for that. More than the manager, I think he has possibly got the biggest part to play this year.

“He is 34 and certainly not as good as he was three or four years ago but he has got a swagger that will rub off on people. That personality in the dressing room where he says: ‘I am the best’.

“I love that in a player when you can back it up and he has certainly backed it up. I can see him having the biggest influence on Manchester United this year.”

Ibrahimovic, who signed for United on a free transfer after four seasons with Paris Saint-Germain, scored the winning goal in the side’s 2-1 Community Shield triumph over Premier League champions Leicester City on Sunday. 

Souness added: “You saw him against Leicester – he didn’t really take part in the game but came up with the winner. And he will do that time and time again this season.

“Running around has never been his strongest point. He has got a great football brain, he is economical with his movement and he is cute and clever. And he has the most ridiculous technique.

“In other games, against the lesser teams, he will destroy them single-handedly. If they get the blend right, it will be exciting times at Old Trafford this year. 

“If you factor in Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and then him up top, it is exciting times. It is the Theatre of Dreams again.”

Mon 8 Aug, 2016
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