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Ibra can overtake Messi’s 2016 tally but there’s more to him than goals, says Jones

Date Posted,December 27, 2016

The IKEA ego already believes he is the world’s greatest striker – and now Zlatan Ibrahimovic can prove it to everyone else.

Ibrahimovic’s effort against Sunderland brought up the half century of club goals in 2016 for Paris Saint-German and Manchester United.

Only Lionel Messi in the world’s top leagues can better that tally, with the Barcelona star having netted 51 times this year.

But with Messi laid up for La Liga’s winter break, Ibrahimovic has the chance to finish 2016 as the world’s top marksman if he scores twice against Middlesbrough at Old Trafford on New Year’s Eve.

Phil Jones is not betting against the Swedish hitman and he is hugely impressed with him.

Ibrahimovic with Phil Jones during the match against Swansea (Photo: Stu Forster)

He feels Ibrahimovic has much more than goals to his game and hailed him as the team’s focal point.

“He’s a handful,” said the United defender. “He’s a big, strong man and he knows where the back of the net is.

“He’s got great feet and his link-up play, the way he brings others into play, is superb.

“He gives you that outlet when you are under pressure. Obviously we don’t want to keep knocking the ball long in games, but if you have to, then he’s always there to receive it and he makes life very difficult for defenders.

“He’s a big focal point for our team.”

Ibrahimovic, 35, has lived up to his huge reputation at United since arriving on a Bosman in July and only Ruud van Nistelrooy has bettered his return of 12 goals from his first 17 Premier League games.

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