Cole says return of key player will boost Man United forward

Former Manchester United forward Andy Cole has insisted that the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic will help Romelu Lukaku reach a new level for the club.

Ibrahimovic made his return from a serious knee injury in Saturday’s Premier League clash against Newcastle United, where Lukaku ended a seven-game scoring drought for the Red Devils.

It has been suggested that Ibrahimovic’s return to the fold will harm Lukaku, but Cole has claimed that the summer signing from Everton will be forced to up his game in a bid to hold down the central striking position.

Cole is quoted by Man United’s official website as saying:

“I was fortunate to be in that position at United, having other players after your place and that competition brings the best out of you. I have no doubts it will bring the best out of Lukaku. He expected Zlatan to get fit at some stage.

“He started the season very well. He has found it difficult in a few games because the team didn’t create a lot of chances, and the team didn’t played as well as it could have, but I think he will be okay. I definitely think Zlatan will bring the best out of him.”

Ibrahimovic and Lukaku have both travelled with the United squad for Wednesday’s Champions League game against Swiss champions Basel.

Ibrahimovic managed 28 goals in all competitions for the 20-time English champions last season, whilst Lukaku has netted 12 times in 18 appearances since a move from Everton in the summer transfer window.