How Manchester United Can Use Both Zlatan Ibrahimovic And Romelu Lukaku In The Same Line-up
Manchester United have made a sizzling start to their league campaign and Jose Mourinho wanted to make sure that his side had all the necessary equipment in their squad by the end of the transfer window, to compete on all four fronts this season. The manager has added some star players to his line-up already this summer and the latest name that signed a contract at Old Trafford is Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The former PSG striker joined Manchester United last summer and stood as the top goal scorer for the club in all competitions last season, helping his side to two titles. However, he picked up a knee injury late last season that saw his campaign end abruptly, as he was ruled out at least until the turn of the year.
However, even at 35, the extraordinary athlete that he is, he’s expected to be back in action sooner than later and Manchester United decided to offer him another year at the club, which he gleefully accepted.
He is not expected to be back playing for the club this year and will take his own time to break into the first team later this season but Manchester United also have Romelu Lukaku leading the attacking line regularly, which will make it tougher for Zlatan to play regularly.
However, he is a talismanic figure who can make things happen and could be a huge asset for United when playing against big sides, in big games. So how can Mourinho fit him in? Can Lukaku and Zlatan play together in the same line-up?
The Belgian striker is a target man, similar to Zlatan and has rarely ever played on the wing. The Swede has not either, and Mourinho will have to play with two strikers if he decides to use both of them in a single game.
It is not something the Portuguese manager is adept at doing well, as he often likes his sides to stay compact in defence and add numbers to his midfield. However, in certain games, Mourinho can shift to a 4-3-1-2 system or a 4-2-2-2 system, which will not only give flexibility to the front line but also add creativity to the squad.
Zlatan is adept at dropping deep at times and in both systems, he can act as a support striker for Lukaku, dragging defenders away from their positions, leaving space for the Belgian. Henrikh Mkhitaryan or Juan Mata can play as the creative midfielders. Though it will mean that they will lack genuine width in their attack, they will have enough firepower to create and score chances on a consistent basis.
It is a setup that bodes well for Mourinho’s style of play, and having two of the most prolific goal scorers in their line-up will also boost their chances of a league title or lifting the UCL trophy. But do you think Zlatan and Lukaku could play together regularly at United this season?
What is your opinion? Do you think Zlatan and Lukaku can play together at United this season?