Manchester United could line with this frightening 4-2-2-2 formation when Swede returns



ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC has returned to Manchester United and he’s desperate to add a Premier League title to his glittering list of silverware.

England is the only country he’s played in since leaving Sweden where he hasn’t won the league – so far.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has re-signed for Manchester United

Romelu Lukaku is successfully spearheading Manchester United this season

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Romelu Lukaku has made a blistering start to his Manchester United career

With Romelu Lukaku haven taken his old No.9 shirt, Ibrahimovic will be wearing No.10 – which the 35-year-old has declared an upgrade.

But how could Jose Mourinho line up a team featuring both the red-hot Lukaku and the super Swede?

Our friends at Football Whispers have taken a look…

There are a number of ways United could line up. They have started the season in a 4-2-3-1, but there is no natural way for Ibrahimovic and Lukaku to play together in that system.

Perhaps Ibrahimovic could feature in the No.10 role, but that is unfamiliar for him and wouldn’t be playing to his strengthes.

You would expect them to line up together up front, and of course there are a number ways United could play that way.

But with the team looking so good in the 4-2-3-1, a little switch of dropping an attacking midfielder for Ibrahimovic could be the answer as they switch to a 4-2-2-2.

How might Jose Mourinho send Manchester United out in a 4-2-2-2 formation with the return of Ibrahimovic

Goalkeeper: David de Gea

De Gea is the undisputed No.1 at United. Despite endless Real Madrid transfer talk since a move collapsed at the last minute back in 2015, he is key at Old Trafford.

Last season saw him named as goalkeeper in the PFA Team of the Year and he’s started 2017/18 well, with two Premier League clean sheets.

David De Gea is one of the highest rated goalkeepers in the world


David De Gea is one of the highest rated goalkeepers in the world

Right-back: Antonio Valencia

Valencia may have been a right winger for most of his career, but he’s now an established right-back and is impressing there too.

Mourinho clearly loves the 32-year-old, saying back in January: “He is simply the best right-back you can have. There is no better right-back in football.”

Centre-back: Eric Bailly

With the arrivals of Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Bailly’s arrival last summer was somewhat overshadowed.

Yet the former Villarreal defender has already proven himself as one of the best centre-backs in the league.

And now has his first goal for Manchester United, scoring the opener in the 4-0 win at Swansea.

Eric Bailly scored the first goal for Manchester United against Swansea

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Eric Bailly opened his account for United away to Swansea

Centre-back: Phil Jones

Jones has been at Manchester United since the 2011/12 season, but is yet to make more than 30 league appearances in a single campaign.

Still only 25, he’s hoping he’s passed his injury-hit spell and is forming a promising partnership with Bailly.

Left-back: Daley Blind

Often used as a centre-back last season due to injuries, 27-year-old Blind is back in his favoured left-back position.

Given Mourinho is clearly not a fan of other left-back option Luke Shaw, the Netherlands international is likely to be the first choice for the position.

Daley Blind has made the left-back slot his own at United

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Daley Blind has made the left-back slot his own at United

Central midfielder: Paul Pogba

Pogba isn’t just only a midfield superstar, he also seems to be the best deal broker around, claiming he was crucial in the deals to bring Lukaku and Ibrahimovic to Old Trafford this summer.

The 24-year-old is no longer the world’s most expensive player, but will still want to prove the doubters wrong and help United to their first Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson left.

Paul Pogba looks like he's enjoying bossing the midfield


Paul Pogba looks like he’s enjoying bossing the midfield

Central midfielder: Nemanja Matic

Matic’s early season form has left many fans wondering as to why Chelsea let him go for £40million this summer.

He already looks right at home at Old Trafford under former boss Mourinho and his partnership with Pogba gives Manchester United one of the best midfield duos in the country.

Right attacking midfielder: Henrikh Mkhitaryan

With just two weekends of Premier League action gone so far this season, Mkhitaryan already has four assists.

The closest contenders behind him – Christian Eriksen, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Granit Xhaka and Riyad Mahrez – all have two.

Ibrahimovic thinks United will have a good campaign because of the Armenian, telling ESPN: “I think this season will be the season of Mkhitaryan because he has opened fantastic.”

Mkhitaryan looks like the creative force United hoped they had signed last year


Mkhitaryan looks like the creative force United hoped they had signed last year

Left attacking midfielder: Marcus Rashford

Anthony Martial may have started the season well, but Mourinho has gone with Rashford ahead of the Frenchman so far in the Premier League this season.

His future may well be as a No.9, but it’s clear for now if he wants to play for Manchester United, he’ll have to get first-team action on the wing.

Striker: Romelu Lukaku

The big buy this summer, Lukaku has scored in every game since arriving from Everton, with a goal against Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup, followed by two against West Ham United in his Premier League debut and a solitary strike against Swansea.

The £75million man has helped Mourinho’s side look invincible and they’ll hope he can carry on his great form throughout the season.

Romelu Lukaku has scored every time he’s played for United

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Romelu Lukaku has scored every time he’s played for United

Striker: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The Swedish legend has unfinished business at Old Trafford after picking up an injury in April that meant he missed the Europa League final.

Before that, he proved he was still one of the best strikers around though, with 28 goals in 46 games, finishing the season as Manchester United’s top scorer.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic poses a threat to Saints in the EFL Cup final

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Can Zlatan Ibrahimovic form a dream partnership with Romelu Lukaku?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic re-signs for Manchester United on a one year deal


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