Mourinho full of praise for hitman Ibrahimovic as United prepare for busy festive period

Jose Mourinho has paid tribute to Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and reckons the netbuster can still improve going into the festive period.

United host Sunderland at Old Trafford on Boxing Day and then welcome Middlesborough to the Theatre of Dreams on New Year’s Eve before going to the London Stadium to face West Ham United on January 2.

And Red Devils boss Mourinho believes the Swedish hitman, who has scored 16 goals for United this season, can get even better as the campaign progresses.

He said:

“He will end his career on a high, which is amazing. He’s not ending it in America or China; he’s ending it on the top of the top. I’m really pleased with him; his record is really good, and he can improve.”

“With no penalties among his 16 goals so far, it’s amazing too because normally the other guys who are top scorers score a lot of penalties. He had one penalty in 17 Premier League matches, so I couldn’t be happier with him.”

Meanwhile, Mourinho has revealed he has an almost complete compliment of players to choose from going in to the bust Christmas spell, with all but Luke Shaw available for selection.

The coach added:

“It’s good to have everyone available apart from Luke Shaw, who is not far away. In the central defender position, we now have all of them. Smalling is back, Bailly is back, Rojo is fine, Blind is fine, so it’s a position where it’s very important to have some stability in the options.”

“We were in a difficult position a couple of months ago but now we are safe. We know that Bailly is going to the African Cup of Nations in January, but for the next three matches, we have them.”