Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic was left on the bench in the win over Chelsea at the weekend, and Marcus Rashford’s display has raised a question.
It’s one that was debated in the Sky Sports studio on Monday Night Football, with Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher discussing whether or not the 35-year-old has a future at Old Trafford.
Having scored 28 goals and provided 10 assists in 45 appearances in all competitions, he has certainly had a major impact for the Red Devils and has been a charismatic and influential figure up front for Jose Mourinho’s side.
Add his winning mentality to that and he is crucial to this squad, and although there were certain aspects of the decision to play Rashford and rest Ibrahimovic which showed the path that United should potentially take instead, Neville doesn’t see why United can’t have three or four top strikers at the club moving forward.
“Would Zlatan have done to Chelsea what Rashford did? Absolutely no chance,” Neville told Sky Sports. “But would Rashford have done in that EFL Cup final what Zlatan did? Probably no chance, it would be very difficult.
“Why can’t you have three or four strikers and pick from a pool? It’s not like Zlatan plays or nothing. I’d like to see him phased over another season whereby Martial, Rashford and maybe someone else comes in and you see a changing of the guard, but you still the experience that is required is there.”
Carragher though placed more emphasis on the importance of Ibrahimovic this season, looking at his goals and overall impact even though there are obvious shortcomings in his game. As a result, he concluded that there was no debate and that it’s important he stays.
In turn, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, United have a decision to make on whether or not to exercise an option to extend for another year. However, for most people, it’s pretty clear that they should keep him on but time will tell if the United hierarchy agree.