Former Manchester United defender Ronny Johnsen has hailed Jose Mourinho's decision to hand Zlatan Ibrahimovic a new deal and backed the striker to "score a lot of goals" once he makes a comeback from injury.

The 36-year-old suffered a serious knee injury in the Europa League quarter-final clash against Anderlecht in April, which ended his season prematurely. The talismanic striker scored 28 goals in all competitions before United went on to win the EFL Cup and Europa League last season.

Ibrahimovic was released at the end of last season after his contract expired. However, United handed the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain star a new deal, despite his long-term injury.

United also signed Romelu Lukaku from Everton in the summer transfer window and the club have used him as their main striker so far, with the Belgium international already bagging 11 goals in all competitions for the Red Devils.

Johnsen believes the former Chelsea striker and Ibrahimovic will shine for United, once the latter returns to the pitch after recovering from his knee injury.

"I have to say, I am fan of Zlatan, especially in the last five or six years, he's grown wiser and become even better. I agree with him getting a new contract, because he has so much to give," Johnsen told IBTimes UK.

"In the box, he is unbelievable. Now the team is getting to play further up the pitch. For him to come into the team is easier [than last season]. Because he just needs to make sure he is in the box and he will score a lot of goals again this season.

"The team then [last season] was struggling a bit, but Mourinho has got it on the right path now. The team this season is different and they play counter-attacking football," the former Norway international added.

"If he comes into the team, which he will do, with all his power and experience, it is fantastic. When you are a part of the opposition and you go out there, you know there is Lukaku and then there is Zlatan, you will struggle."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is targeting an earlier than expected return from injury Getty