Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Nemanja Matic gives Man United stability for title

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has told ESPN FC that he believes Nemanja Matic is the key signing who will give Manchester United the "stability" required to win the Premier League.

Matic has made an instant impact at Old Trafford following his £40 million summer transfer from Chelsea, with the Serbia midfielder producing two impressive performances during successive 4-0 victories against West Ham United and Swansea City.

And while Ibrahimovic expects striker Romelu Lukaku to deliver goals for United and Paul Pogba to benefit from losing his tag as the world's most expensive player to Neymar, the former Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain forward insists that Matic's arrival is the decisive one for the club.

"I think the signing of Matic [is crucial]," Ibrahimovic told ESPN FC. "He brings a stability to the team that it didn't have last year.

"And I think Lukaku was a quality signing, like physical signing of force, but the important one is Matic. He brings stability to the whole team and that is what the team needs, and to have a player who is consistent at the top level.

"I also think this season will be the season of [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan because he has opened fantastic.

"I think people underestimate him because he doesn't have the name like the other ones in the world. This may be because he comes from a small country like he comes from [Armenia] but this year he will get the credit he deserves and show the quality that he is, my bet is on Mkhitaryan. Or if he don't provide me [goals] he will not play... I am joking!"

While Matic, Mkhitaryan and Lukaku have all shone for United so far this season, Pogba's early form has also caught the eye.

And Ibrahimovic believes that the France midfielder must now take the chance to prove his quality after losing his tag as the world's costliest player.

"I think Paul's first season was a lot about the transfer fee and this season now about the football matches," Ibrahimovic said. "And now he can play out free because in the first year he won his trophies.

"I think the stamp of the transfer number is gone because now he has proved he is at the top.

"He just needed to play and get his game to focus on the football. Now there is no numbers and his transfer, now it is about his numbers on the pitch.

"I think he has one or two goals [already this season] so that is the numbers that will talk for him."

United trailed in sixth last season, preventing Ibrahimovic from extending his record of winning league titles in all of Europe's major leagues.

But he is confident that Jose Mourinho's team will finish top of the pile this season.

"The top six let's say, they will give a hard time for everybody," he said. "Like last season, Chelsea was the best team, they won. You'll still have Chelsea, you have Liverpool, I think Everton not to underestimate because they have a great coach and the project of them is huge, they are investing a lot to win.

"And obviously you have Arsenal and City. So I think it will look like last year, but this year, the Red Devils will be on top."