Sky sports pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have debated whether Zlatan Ibrahimovic still has a place at Manchester United.
The mecurial frontman has been outstanding for the Red Devils this campaign, netting 17 Premier League goals and proving to be a real talisman during his first campaign at Old Trafford.
The 35-year-old has recently admitted, however, that a heavy workload has taken its toll on him and that prompted Jose Mourinho to start Marcus Rashford in United’s impressive win over Chelsea on Easter Sunday.
In all fairness the decision was clearly more of a tactical one as Rashford’s pace and movement terrorized the Chelsea defence all afternoon and Zlatan was only introduced once the game had been pretty much won.
At this stage it is unclear whether the Swedish star will still be at Old Trafford next season but former United stalwart Neville would certainly like to see him stay, albeit in a different role.
He told Monday Night Football: “Would Zlatan have done to Chelsea what Rashford did? Absolutely no chance. But would Rashford have done in that EFL Cup final what Zalatan did? Probably no chance, it would be very difficult.
“There’s still a place for Zlatan. I used to like being part of a squad that had four strikers. Actually you had a Zlatan, you might have had a Chicharito to come on and you had a Rashford.
“Why can’t you have three or four strikers and pick from a pool? It’s not like Zlatan plays or nothing. On Sunday he looked delighted when the team scored and he worked when he came on. I don’t see why it has to be an either or, they can play together potentially.
“I’d like to see Zlatan stay in a different role to what he’s had this season where it’s him or nothing,” he added. “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.
“That’s why I’m disappointed with John Terry leaving Chelsea because I still think there’s a place for those experienced players in dressing rooms to set the tone for the rest. It’s not a case of either or for me.”
Carragher added: “You shouldn’t get carried away with one game. Zlatan has been one of the best players in the Premier League this season.
“Does he lack mobility? Yes, you know that when you sign him. The whole point of United having fast wingers and Rashford playing wide at times was to give you that [mobility]. You know Ibrahimovic hasn’t got that pace when you sign him.
“Do they play better? If Rashford played centre forward next season I don’t think he’d get the goals Zlatan has got. He may provide other things and help other players but let’s not forget it’s just one game, Zlatan has been outstanding this season.”