Jose Mourinho: Manchester United squad lacks "super personalities"

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic reacts after scoring during the Premier League clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford on January 15, 2017
© SilverHub
Jose Mourinho admits that having Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Man United is important not just for his ability on the field but also for his personality in the dressing room.

Jose Mourinho has revealed that he brought Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Manchester United last summer as the club no longer have a list of "super personalities" to call upon.

The 35-year-old has made a big impact at Old Trafford during his first campaign on English shores, finding the net 26 times in all competitions since joining on a free contract from Paris Saint-Germain.

Mourinho admits that the influence of Ibrahimovic in the dressing room is just as important as his footballing ability on the field, citing Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney as the "last faces" of United's glory years of the past.

"Manchester United no longer has the super personalities that were [Ryan] Giggs, [Paul] Scholes or Roy Keane," he told France Football. "You have to adapt to the reality of the club, its needs and its demands. It is called being intelligent. The priority is to establish relationships of peace and love in a group in order to create stability.

"There is a new group of players that has to adapt [to United]. There is Rooney and Carrick, who are the last faces of this generation. That is why it was important for me to get Zlatan. In this team he had – without being English and without knowing the club's culture – the personality and profile to be more than just a player.

"Mind games, which involve trying to manipulate someone psychologically through the media, are a way to create a state of thinking, but they're most effective when you have a team full of personalities who are ready to take that kind of talk on board."

United moved out of sixth place and into fifth for the first time in six months on Sunday with a 3-1 win over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

Sir Alex Ferguson watches on from the stands
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