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Manchester-Uniteds-Zlatan-Ibrahimovic-celebrates-scoring-their-first-goal.jpg

“It’s embarrassing” – Carragher blasts goal-shy Man United for being over-reliant on Ibrahimovic

Date Posted,April 3, 2017

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has labelled Manchester United’s reliance on Zlatan Ibrahimovic as “embarrassing”.

The Swedish superstar, 35, has scored 26 goals for the Red Devils this season – only Juan Mata has also hit double figures. Indeed, United are the lowest scorers in the top seven this term.

Ibrahimovic has been vital to the two trophies United have already landed – scoring three times at Wembley – and is likely to prove critical in their Europe League and top four quests.

The ex-Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain hitman was sorely missed at the weekend, as United drew for the 11th time in the Premier League this season – a league high – as they failed to find the net against West Brom.

Jose Mourinho was heavily critical of his attacking players in Ibrahimovic’s absence, blaming the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the side’s inability to break down a resolute Baggies defence.

26 goals so far for Ibracadebra this term (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
Rashford struggled to make an impact as a central striker (Photo: REUTERS)
Anthony Martial has had a difficult second season (Photo: REUTERS)

Now, Carragher has likewise seen fit to call out United’s forward options.

“Zlatan has that personality and presence but I feel it’s a bit embarrassing for those other players that they need a 35-year-old centre-forward,” former England international Carragher told Sky Sports .

“It’s a big worry, the fact these young players go in there and can’t seem to cope, it doesn’t bode well for them and I think that’s Mourinho’s frustration.

“When you play at the top level, if you get a chance you must take it.”

Carragher expects big changes this summer (Photo: AFP)
United’s goal struggle has been personified by their skipper (Photo: AFP)

Both Martial and Rashford have scored just seven times this season. Jesse Lingard has bagged only five and club captain Wayne Rooney has struck just five times also, in a campaign where he has seen his status at the club reduced massively.

Mourinho has made Antoine Griezmann the club’s No.1 summer target, as he looks to increase the side’s firepower next season ahead of a potential title tilt.

Yet Carragher reckons that a general overhaul, down the spine of the side, could well be in the offing this summer.

French ace Griezmann is Mourinho’s No.1 striker target (Photo: AFP)

“They need quality, more subtlety and more killer instinct in the final third,” added Carragher. “The positive is he knows where to improve. He needs players capable of winning matches for him. The ones currently up top are not doing that.

“I think he’s lining it up. You think about the sales of Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay for around £40million.

“There’s talk of Antoine Griezmann and I’m sure other clubs will be after him as well, but Jose must be lining up for another big summer.

“It’s not just the attack because there are some shortcomings in defence too. They need a centre-back, they need a holding midfielder. I think five or six will come in, with two or three going.”

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