Which former Red was still the talk of the squad?

Wednesday 19 August 2020 08:00

Lee Grant has revealed Zlatan Ibrahimovic was still the talk of the Manchester United players long after leaving the club.

The big Swede with the even bigger personality clearly left a lasting impression on his colleagues as Grant, who never played with the striker but helped keep him at bay when in goal for Stoke City at Old Trafford, discussed on this week's episode of UTD Podcast.

The keeper has great respect for the veteran centre-forward, who is now with AC Milan, and admitted there are so many tales about the Scandinavian from his successful stint with the Reds.

Lee Grant discusses signing for United, his boyhood favourites.

"He [Zlatan] wasn't here as a player but he was in LA, he came and visited us," said Grant, when discussing his early time with the club. "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," added Grant.

“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.

Watch Lee Grant make a great save to deny Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Grant kept Ibrahimovic out in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, in October of 2016, when he was with Stoke City, a match that helped earn him his dream move to United.

"I had him on toast," laughed the keeper. "He's in here, in my pocket somewhere.

“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.”

Listen to the full interview with Lee Grant in UTD Podcast, available now on all the usual platforms.