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Man Utd need Ibrahimovic to emulate Cantona, says Keown

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Pin Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrating a goal. Goal
Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrating a goal. Goal

Man Utd need Ibrahimovic to emulate Cantona, says Keown

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 424

The former Arsenal defender is looking for the striker to remain a talismanic figure for the Red Devils and follow in the footsteps of an Old Trafford icon.

Manchester United need Zlatan Ibrahimovic to follow in the footsteps of Eric Cantona and remain a talismanic presence, according to former Arsenal defender Martin Keown.

The Swede has made the desired impact at Old Trafford, with Jose Mourinho aware of what he was getting when luring the experienced frontman to England in the summer.

He had worked with the enigmatic striker previously at Inter, with the bond they formed in Italy helping to convince the 35-year-old that the time was right to take on a Premier League challenge.

Ibrahimovic has rewarded Mourinho’s show of faith with 14 goals in 24 appearances, with his first competitive outing delivering a winning effort in the Community Shield.

He also proved decisive in his most recent outing, as United edged out Crystal Palace late on at Selhurst Park.

It could be that he makes the difference in the Red Devils’ pursuit of a top-four finish and major silverware, with Keown among those challenging a proven winner to emulate the achievements of a former club icon.

He wrote in a column for the 'Daily Mai'l: "I think Ibrahimovic is used to doing this. He is one of the most decorated players in Europe and is here to win. He has a real ruthlessness in his game. He is phenomenal playing every match at his age and it is testament to his strength and fitness.

"He wants to stay with this young group having signed a new contract. They will eventually have to find a replacement - does it come from within or do they buy again? Eric Cantona's name was being sung at Selhurst Park — he carried United to their first title in 26 years and took the pressure off everyone.

"Is Ibrahimovic as big a personality to do the same this time around? Right now he is a really important player for United, both with his personality and performances".

Cantona spent five years with United between 1992 and 1997.

In that time, he helped the club to four Premier League titles and two FA Cup successes, making close to 200 appearances and netting 82 goals.

Cantona, who was nicknamed 'The King', joked that there can only be one king at United following Ibrahimovic's arrival.

However, Ibrahimovic replied: "I admire Cantona. And I heard what he said. But I won't be King of Manchester. I will be God of Manchester".

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