Peter Schmeichel: Zlatan Ibrahimovic was born to be a Manchester United player - just like Eric Cantona

Former goalkeeper has likened the PSG striker to the United legend and claimed that he would like to see the Swede playing for the club in the future

Former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel believes Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was born to be a Manchester United player and that he hopes to see him playing for the club in the near future.

The Dane has compared him to United great Eric Cantona, and he has claimed that the 31-year-old can have just a big an impact as the Frenchman did during his time at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson signed Cantona from Leeds for just £1.2m in November 1992, but he became a leading figure that year in ending the club’s 26-year wait for a league title, before establishing United as a dominating force in English football that continues today.

Schmeichel, who spent eight years at Old Trafford, told Swedish newspaper Expressen: “'You've got to ask Zlatan why he hasn't played in England yet, but I'd love to see him at Manchester United.

“I don't know who he supports, but he's a born Manchester United player, he would be absolutely brilliant.

“I think our supporters would love him, if he ever made that move, he wouldn't move again.

“For Zlatan to play the way we love him to play, he has to be Zlatan.

“We're a very big football club and we've had players behaving in different ways throughout the history of the club.

“The managers have always been able to handle that and get the maximum out of the players.

“A lot of people are comparing Zlatan with Eric, Eric Cantona. He had a difficult time before he came to United.

“He had 11 clubs in France and a trial at Sheffield Wednesday and Trevor Francis didn't fancy him and then he had six months at Leeds and Howard Wilkinson didn't fancy him.

“But then he came to United and the rest is history. He's arguably the greatest player we've ever had.

“I think he's so suited to the Premier League and he has loads of time left in his career, I hope we see him there.”

United head into their defence of the Premier League title in unfamiliar territory following Ferguson’s retirement after 26-years at the helm of the Red Devil juggernaut, and Schmeichel feels that this season could be tougher than what is normally expected at the club due to the changes in the club’s hierarchy.

“It's always difficult to defend a title because whatever team you play they always want to beat the champions,” said Schmeichel.

“And having won 13 out of 20 Barclays Premier League titles the team and the players have the experience.

“But there's been a few key changes at the club this summer. David Gill has left and Ed Woodward is now in charge of the football club.

“And of course Sir Alex Ferguson has left and David Moyes is in so that changes things a little bit and all the other clubs are trying to take advantage of that.

“I think United will change under Moyes, you can't emulate what Sir Alex did, he has to do it his own way. But I don't think you can change something like Manchester United that much.”

After leaving the club in 1999, Schmeichel returned to the club last year in an ambassadorial role, and he believes that the recently retired Ferguson will be there to assist Moyes when needed, but that he will stay out of the headlines in doing so.

“I don't think Sir Alex will be that involved, he will keep a very low profile. He appreciates how difficult a position David Moyes is in.

“And he'll let him do the job and not interfere whatsoever, but he's there to support Moysey if he needs him.

“I don't think you'll see Sir Alex out there. But he'll be at the games.”

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Extras
indybest
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick