Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho thinks that strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford can complement each other.
The Portuguese’s comments bring into question Wayne Rooney’s role in the side, as Mourinho has invested heavily in the wages of Ibrahimovic and is under pressure to support young players such as Rashford.
With another attacking player Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the way to United and Anthony Martial already on the club’s books, there will be competition in the attacking positions.
Rooney’s prospects are not helped by Mourinho’s admission, in his opening news conference as United manager on Tuesday, that he does not see the England player continuing in a deeper midfield role. The former Chelsea manager made a pointed comment about how even he himself could play impressive passes if there is not pressure on him.
Discussing Rashford, 18, and Ibrahimovic, 34, in an MUTV interview, Mourinho said: “Thirty-four plus 18, divided by two, is the perfect age for a football player. So our two strikers are exactly in the perfect age, because 18 is not the perfect age, 34 is not. So I think they can be an amazing complement for each other.”
Mourinho also opened up on how he expects to play next season, stating that it would be a contrast to the football served up under his predecessor Louis van Gaal. The United manager explained: “As a manager I have to adapt to what I have in hand. That is one of my strengths.
“I don’t think a manager should have one style. They should be able to adapt a style to reality.
“We want to play different to last season. Van Gaal is a top manager. His philosophy is clear. Mine is different — not better; different.”
The other new player signed by United is defender Eric Bailly and Mourinho admitted “I don’t know” if the player is ready for the Premier League. Despite the work ahead of Mourinho, the Portuguese said that he needs management “to breath” and has enjoyed the United environment so far.
Mourinho said: “People love the club. I was previously in other clubs, lucky enough to be in big clubs, but I didn’t feel that passion. At United I felt immediately a huge passion.”