Zlatan Ibrahimovic key to my development, says Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford has revealed that veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped him to become a player he is today. Rashford, who has gone to become a key component of United, played alongside Zlatan in 2016-17. The England international also stated how the tough period endured under Jose Mourinho made him a stronger player. Here's what Rashford had to say.
When Mourinho joined United in 2016 as a manager, Zlatan was roped in as a free agent. Zlatan was United's top goal-scorer that season and amassed 28 goals in 46 games. He brought a lot of experience and helped United win three trophies that season. Zlatan suffered a horrific injury and made just 7 appearances in 2017-18, before leaving for LA Galaxy.
Rashford praised Zlatan's mentality and felt it was key for his development. "His mentality was beyond anything I'd ever played with before," Rashford told the UTD Podcast. "He didn't care what anyone would say to him or what anyone was saying about him. In terms of his mentality he was key to my development," the United forward added.
After making his United debut under Louis van Gaal in 2015-16, Rashford was in his initial phase of his career. Under Jose, he made 53 and 52 appearances respectively in the first two full seasons. In the third season, Jose was sacked in December. Rashford amassed 28 goals and 20 assists during Jose's tenure at the club. He didn't find his best form consistently.
"It was tough but I think when you look back on it in five or six years, they're the moments that give you that mental toughness," Rashford said. "As an all-round player I've improved a lot and a lot of it is down to those two years under Jose. it was a tough period but definitely a period that made me a better player."
Rashford needs to be more tuned to helping United score more goals. With Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Daniel James being there, Rashford can form a solid partnership in the attacking department. Bruno Fernandes' presence as the creator will help him. Rashford has 41 Premier League goals and 18 assists in 133 matches. He will need to improve the tally and be more consistent.