Zlatan Ibrahimovic has branded young Milan striker Emil Roback as ‘the future of Sweden’ and ‘a player of a completely different level’.
The Rossoneri confirmed his acquisition from Hammarby earlier in the summer, a club where Ibrahimovic owns 25% of the shares.
MilanNews confirmed that the amount paid to bring him to the Rossoneri was €1.5m, a significant investment for a very young player who is highly rated. Ibrahimovic – who trained with Roback at Hammarby during the spring – branded him ‘the future’ during an Instagram post.
We compiled a feature on Roback as well as Wilmot Marshage and Lukas Bjorkuland – two other Swedes who have joined the Rossoneri’s academy over the summer – during which we spoke to his old manager.
Ibrahimovic has given a long interview to Swedish source SportBladet about a variety of topics including the background on his return to Milan, a return to the national team and the latest on his injury.
He also discussed Roback, and did not stop short of heaping an immense amount of praise upon the teenager.
“He is the future of Sweden, I can tell you now. He is a player of a completely different level,” he said (via MilanNews).
“And this is an example, he is not a typical Swedish player. He is a completely different player and he grew up in Hammarby. We have several players in Hammarby who will be something, they just have to get the chance.”
Ibra also discussed training with Hammarby and the possibility that he could have signed for them rather than renewing with Milan.
“We discussed it this summer. Either I was coming to Milan or Hammarby. I was close, if I hadn’t gone to Milan I would have gone to play at Hammarby,” he confirmed.
“The only thing was that I would not have had number 10. , because it is a certain Kennedy who has it. That was the only wish (laughs,). Can the Hammarby become an opportunity for the future? Yes. We are aware of the situation.”