01 Nov Zlatan Ibrahimovic to rediscover form for Manchester United
Luke Shaw has no doubt that Manchester United team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic will soon end his uncharacteristically barren run.
Arriving at Old Trafford boasting a medal-laden CV following spells with some of the world’s greatest clubs, much was expected of the outspoken striker.
Ibrahimovic netted five goals in as many games to get life at Old Trafford off to a fine start, yet things have since gone awry and the 35-year-old has managed to score just once in 10 matches.
Manager Jose Mourinho has kept faith with the frontman and continued to lean heavily on him, yet his inability to net any of his 12 shots against Burnley played a key part in Saturday’s encounter ending 0-0.
It meant Ibrahimovic had failed to score in six league games for the first time since playing for Inter Milan in December 2007, but he clearly retains the confidence of his team-mates.
“No chance at all,” Shaw said when asked if the striker’s confidence had taken a knock. “I wouldn’t say that.
“He’s a world-class player and I wouldn’t say it’s a dip, I think he’s been unlucky.
“He’s had chances, but the saves that have been happening from his shots are unbelievable, especially that volley he did at the weekend, with Heats (Tom Heaton) saving that.
“Of course he’s a very confident person and his confidence is always sky-high.”
Confidence can only take you so far, though, and the close-range header against Zorya Luhansk is his only goal since September.
Ibrahimovic was an unused substitute as Fenerbahce were swept away 4-1 in United’s last Europa League match, but the return leg in Turkey on Thursday is set to be a much tougher test.
Mourinho’s men have recovered well from the opening-day defeat at Feyenoord and can open a five-point gap over Fenerbahce in Group A should they rack up a third straight European win.
“I’ve always said it’s very important to get maximum points,” said Shaw, speaking at the launch of the global partnership between mattress and pillow maker Mlily and Manchester United.
“But we know how hard going to a place like Turkey is and especially with a team like this.
“We’ve beaten them 4-1 so they’re going to be looking for revenge, especially in front of a hostile crowd.
“It’s going to be very hard, but we need to focus on what we need to do.
“If we do that, then I am sure we can get maximum points from this game as well.”