Manchester United goalkeeper Lee Grant joked that he still has Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his pocket as he added that he had the Swedish star ‘on toast’ during their clash in the Premier League.
Grant has been with Manchester United since 2018, having moved to Old Trafford after previously playing for Stoke, Derby, Burnley and Sheffield Wednesday.
His arrival came shortly after the Swedish star’s departure, with Ibrahimovic leaving the Premier League to sign with the LA Galaxy and, eventually, AC Milan.
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Even after Ibrahimovic’s departure, he remained a much-discussed figure in the Manchester United dressing room, with Grant saying that he’s still a player that many in the squad look up to.
“He wasn’t here as a player but he was in LA, he came and visited us,” Grant told the Utd Podcast. “All I was hearing in that first month or so, while I was acclimatising, were stories about Zlatan.
“His period at the club had just come to an end but the lads would talk about him constantly. ‘Do you remember when Zlatan did this?’ ‘Do you remember him getting on to such and such in training and he nearly made him cry?’ ‘Do you remember that thing he does, the kung-fu kick over his head?’ ‘Do you remember Zlatan scored that goal? Do you remember when he nutmegged that guy and absolutely took the p***?
“I thought: ‘Oh my god, who is this Zlatan character?’ but that was what it was like all the time.
“I got to meet him in LA but it was literally for five or 10 minutes, just to say hello and ask how he was enjoying America and all the rest of it.
“For me, just to see how the lads interacted with him. Huge stars, well huge stars to me, looking up to the king! It was quite an eye-opener. But he seemed a really nice guy.
“I’m actually disappointed I didn’t get the chance to play with him myself. I played against him, of course.”
Grant’s face-off with Ibrahimovic came in October 2016 with the goalkeeper’s Stoke side taking on Ibrahimovic and Man Utd.
On that day, Stoke held on to a 1-1 draw with Grant having a spectacular game that he still recalls fondly.
“I had him on toast!” Grant joked. “He’s in here, in my pocket somewhere.
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“I had him on toast that day. Of course, I wouldn’t say that to his face. If I was training against him, I would imagine he would have me on toast more than I had him on toast but that was a good day for me.
“I wanted to show the Manchester United fans, and everyone in that stadium, not consciously perhaps, but I wanted the fans to remember Lee Grant after this game. Subconsciously, I really wanted to do well and make some impression. I made 10 saves and had a really good game.”
Grant has made two appearances since making the move to Man Utd, featuring in a Carabao Cup loss to Derby in September 2018 before starting this past November’s Europa League loss to Astana.
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