Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes Jose Mourinho can deliver a Premier League title for Manchester United, but has warned the Portuguese cannot “do miracles” with an underperforming side.
The man at the Old Trafford helm has seen his future called into question on a regular basis this season, with it suggested that he has lost the trust of his players and the ability to deliver results.
Having committed to a new contract back in January, there has been no indication that Mourinho will walk away from his post.
Ibrahimovic believes that is the right stance, with a proven winner being let down by those around him as United seek to force their way back into contention for top prizes.
The former Red Devils striker told The Mirror: “I think he has the ability to win [the Premier League].
“I think he is the right coach for that club, for that team.
“But a coach is only as good as his team, so it’s not like he can do miracles if the team is not good enough.
“And I feel the team is good – it’s progressing, becoming better.
“This is his third year, the players know more and more the way he wants to play and how he wants it – so I believe, yes.”
United currently sit eighth in the English top-flight having won just half of their eight games so far.
They are already seven points adrift of the early frontrunners and will return to action after the international break with a testing trip to Chelsea.
Ibrahimovic is, however, convinced that Mourinho remains “special”, with those qualities having been on display throughout a distinguished coaching career that has delivered major silverware in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain.
The Swedish frontman, who is now on the books of MLS side the LA Galaxy, said: “Why is Mourinho so special? First of all because he’s a winner – he has this winner mentality. He does everything to win.
“He knows the game. He reads the game well. He manipulates, not the game, but the minds of his own players.
“I remember when he came first time in Inter, he made everybody give 200 per cent – but not for the team, not for the club, for him.
“And that for me makes him very special, because when he came out on the big stage he was something different.
“He was not that classical coach. I remember I had [Fabio] Capello. Capello was hard, was discipline, was respect. Mourinho brought that but at the same time brought something else: character.
“He had different character, this way of expressing himself.”
Ibrahimovic has also refuted any suggestion that Mourinho, who is reported to have suffered a breakdown in his working relationship with a number of key men this season, is arrogant, adding: “He was confident, not arrogant, because people say ‘arrogance’, I have the same thing, people say I’m arrogant, but I don’t call it arrogant, I call it confident.
“Because when you are confident, it means you are not powerful, but you are pretty sure for who you are.
“That is not arrogance, it is different. Ignorant call it arrogant, the intelligent call it confident.”