Manchester United’s attack is about to get better with the impending return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Swede, who suffered knee ligament damage last season, will play in 2017, according to Jose Mourinho.
The Sun’s Neil Custis has even reported that Ibrahimovic could be on the bench for Saturday’s game against Newcastle United.
With Romelu Lukaku the club’s number nine and Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial also giving Mourinho options going forwards, it remains to be seen whether Ibrahimovic has a starting role or will simply be used as a substitute.
But the 35-year-old, who scored 28 goals last season, believes can play in the number 10 role upon his return.
“To me, number 10 is the star,” he said, per Sky Sports.
“The one who makes the difference, gets noticed, wins the matches and is the leader.
“And I see myself in that position but it is not something that is given to you, it is just something you are, that’s just the way it is.”
Three ways Man United could line up with Zlatan at #10
So, how could Man United line up with Ibrahimovic playing as a number 10?
GiveMeSport picks out three ways in which Mourinho could select a devastating attacking line-up with Zlatan in the side.
Behind Lukaku in a 4-2-3-1
Mourinho started Jesse Lingard in the number 10 role in the 2-0 win over Benfica last month, and Ibrahimovic gets in the side ahead of Lingard every day of the week.
Two up top
Man United used three at the back and two up top against Chelsea, Rashford joining Lukaku up front.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan played behind the strikers but the Armenian could move to the flanks to accommodate Ibrahimovic.
The dream front four
Lukaku. Ibrahimovic. Martial. Rashford.
With that pace and power, Man United wouldn’t struggle to find the net.
Many wondered if Ibrahimovic would retire following his injury, so the fact that Mourinho believes he could play before the year is out is quite remarkable.
“He is a lion, he is a fighter,” the United boss said. “I think that is a good description of him, he has the anger all the time and that’s the reason why he’s almost coming back.
“As we expect, he’s reduced the timing of his recovering and, as we were saying a few weeks ago, he will be back in 2017, which is a magnificent recovery.”