Thursday, September 14, 2023

Ashley Young: Zlatan Ibrahimovic fought and picked on Manchester United teammate but it was all love

Ashley Young has revealed former teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic made Eric Bailly his victim during Manchester United training sessions.

Ibrahimovic spent two seasons at Old Trafford before leaving for MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy in 2018.

Ibrahimovic built up a different kind of bromance with defender Eric Bailly

The Swede quickly became a fan favourite for his combative style and despite suffering a serious knee injury towards the end of his first season, he departed the club a year later boasting an impressive 17 goals in 33 appearances.

Ibrahimovic has often split opinion due to a perceived over-confident nature, however those who have shared a dressing room with him often speak highly of the now-retired star.

And Young is the latest to pay tribute to Ibrahimovic whilst revealing an overly-physical bromance with Ivorian centre-back Bailly.

“Zlatan, wow what a guy,” Young exclusively told talkSPORT. “Obviously you look at his career and think how unbelievable it was.

“He was a guy who used to love being in the gym to pick on Eric Bailly.

“Obviously he does martial arts and Eric used to try and beat him up but there were plenty of times when Ibra would be there and just send him a flying kick.

“It was funny, he caught him a couple of times. It was funny to see and funny to watch but not nasty. It was good old fun. Eric took it, he’s a crazy guy himself.”

The trio were part of Jose Mourinho’s side who lifted the EFL Cup and Europa League in 2017.

Thank you for all the memories @ericbailly24 #MUFC #MUFC_FAMILY #Bailly #Ibrahimovic #Zlatan

— MUFC_Fever (@MUFC_Fever) September 5, 2023

Manchester United’s cup successes of 2017 was the last time the club landed a trophy until Erik ten Hag ended the drought with another EFL Cup win in February.

Young, who now plays for Everton, has since enjoyed spells at Inter Milan and Aston Villa.

Bailly left Manchester United as recently as this summer to sign for Turkish giants Besiktas and Ibrahimovic called time on his illustrious career in June.

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