Zlatan Ibrahimovic can make the difference for Milan in the Serie A title race after returning from injury, according to team-mate Brahim Diaz.
Ibrahimovic scored 10 goals in six league games to help the Rossoneri make a fast start to the 2020-21 season, but injuries have hampered him since late November.
Milan have continued to prosper without the talismanic striker, yet Diaz believes the Swede can now play a pivotal role – and not just on the pitch – after making his comeback on Saturday.
The 39-year-old came off the bench in the closing stages of a 2-0 win over Torino, Stefano Pioli’s side bouncing back impressively after Juventus had put an end to their unbeaten record in midweek.
“Ibrahimovic is a player who makes the difference,” Diaz said in an interview with Sky Sport Italia.
“He transfers his great experience to us. Now that he is back, we will do great things.
“He has a winning mentality and forces you to always give your best, he wants the best of ourselves every day.”
16 – #ACMilan have scored 2+ goals in 16 league matches so far: no side have managed a better such tally in the #SerieA history during the first half of the season (also Internazionale did so in 16 games in 1949-50 and in 1950-51). Wealth.#MilanTorino #SerieATIM pic.twitter.com/SCaco8735U
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) January 9, 2021
Diaz made his eighth league start of the campaign against Torino, playing a pivotal role in helping his team claim three points.
The Spaniard set up Rafael Leao for the home side’s opening goal, then won the penalty that allowed Franck Kessie to double the advantage before half-time.
The victory moved Milan four points clear at the summit and with nearest rivals Inter only able to draw on Sunday, hopes are high they can be crowned champions of Italy for the first time in a decade.
“We are Milan, this word is enough to understand that we always want to win, then we’ll see,” said Diaz, who is on loan from Real Madrid.
“We can dream. We are a very united group and we want to do great things together. The best is yet to come, we are all fine and also I feel great.
“I am happy for the penalty which I won, for the assist and for the three points against Torino. If we continue like this, little by little we will be able to do more and more.”