Man United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic suffered a crucial Anterior Ligament damage on his right knee in the 2-1win over Anderlecht in the second leg of the Europa League quarter-finals at Old Trafford.
The Swedish forward landed awkwardly on his knee towards the end of the second half of normal time and has now been ruled out until January 2018, potentially ending his United’s career.
Ibrahimovic, who joined Man United as a free agent from PSG last summer, brought his scoring boots to Old Trafford and he is the top scorer with 28 goals, with 17 of the in the Premier League.
His injury sounds strange as the 35-year-old rarely get injured and it is a big blow to United who have been over reliant on his goals this season. What he brought and has contributed to United cannot be swept under the carpet.
But with the latest development, it is an opportunity Marcus Rashford should grab with both hands. Jose Mourinho is known; from his time at Chelsea, for not giving enough chance to youngsters, Romelu Lukaku and Gael Kakuta are clear examples.
Ibrahimovic presence had limited Rashford’s chances and most times playing out of position and with the United boss already on the lookout for a striker, the English starlet can cement his place in the first team if he can make good of this opportunity, no matter who is signed.
The 19-year-old has already shown glimpses of what he is capable of doing. Two crucial goals from him in the last two matches have helped put United’s Champions League cause along the right perspective.
The 2-0 win over Chelsea kept alive the hope of finishing in the top four and his winner against Anderlecht pushed United into the semi-finals of the Europa League.
Rashford’s pace was a menace to Chelsea defence and that is an opportunity for United to take advantage of. Ibrahimovic has hurled in a number of goals but he slows attack allowing opposition to get in place to defend. United can fully utilized Rashford and Jesse Lingard’s pace to pester defences.
However, we shouldn’t also forget that Rashford is still a teenager who now has much workload and expectations