Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Rojo to play against Newcastle

Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Rojo to play against Newcastle
November 18 08:33 2017

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba will return to the Manchester United squad for Saturday’s Premier League game against Newcastle at Old Trafford.

Striker Ibrahimovic, 36, is yet to play this season after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury in April.

Midfielder Pogba, 24, has not played since injuring a hamstring against Basel in September.

Defender Marcos Rojo is also available and manager Jose Mourinho said “all three will be selected”.

Rojo, 27, suffered cruciate knee ligament damage in the same match as Ibrahimovic – a Europa League quarter-final second-leg victory over Anderlecht.

Former Sweden striker Ibrahimovic made 46 appearances and scored 28 goals for United last season.

He was released by the club in June after his season was ended prematurely, but re-signed on a one-year deal in August.

“Last season we played with Zlatan every minute,” said Mourinho.

“We have learned how to play without him. Of course we welcome him back. He is an incredible personality.”

Of Pogba, Mourinho said it was clear there was a “Manchester United before and after” his injury.

United recorded three wins and one draw in the four league games they played before the France midfielder was forced off during the Champions League fixture at Old Trafford.

Without him they won three Champions League games and two EFL Cup ties but lost twice in seven league games – drawing one and winning the other four.

“He has qualities that influence our approach in matches,” said Mourinho.

‘Ibrahimovic and Lukaku can play together’

Ibrahimovic’s return came after United had signed striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton for an initial £75m, and the 24-year-old has scored seven times in his first 11 Premier League games.

Mourinho says the Belgium international and Ibrahimovic can play together.

“Good players can play together,” said the Portuguese. “With good players, it is easy to play together.

“We can’t expect him [Ibrahimovic] to play full 90 minutes or consecutive matches. He needs time to be back to his level – fitness and sharpness is everything.”