Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed the advice he gave to fellow Swede Victor Lindelof to help the Manchester United defender improve.
Since his arrival at Old Trafford in 2017, Lindelof has become a lightening rod for criticism, an emblem of how far Manchester United have fallen in the post-Alex Ferguson era.
Recent performances however, have shown that the Swedish centre-back has a place in the team, and he has a compatriot to thank for the improvement, apparently.
In a recent interview Zlatan revealed he told the 24-year-old to drop the nice guy act and be more aggressive.
“I think he had a difficult time in the beginning, but I think that is typical Swedish. When you come somewhere, you are friendly to everybody,” Zlatan told BetHard.
“You play, you don’t play, you still feel in friendly situation.
“I explained to him, ‘listen, all these players are conquerors. You’re here to survive. You’re not here to be friendly to everybody so you need to perform. If you don’t perform, the club has no problems with selling [you], that’s the way it is’.”
“And I think he’s been doing good lately. He’s playing much more after a first year of struggling.”
It’s that security of being guaranteed minutes that has also helped the defender’s development, according to Ibra.
“I think he has more confidence when he plays,” he added.
“Hopefully he can continue and be strong mentally because I don’t think it’s about the quality, it’s more in the head.
“I’ve always said 50 per cent is in your head it doesn’t matter how good you are if you cant make it mentally, you will not survive.”
There’s every chance Ibrahimovic is inflating the importance the role he’s played in Lindelof’s improvement, but the advice was well received by the looks of things.