Zlatan Ibrahimovic hails Johan Elmander’s Norwich City switch

Johan Elmander challenges Victor Wanyama during Norwich City's Premier League win over Southampton.

Johan Elmander challenges Victor Wanyama during Norwich City's Premier League win over Southampton. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Johan Elmander's summer move to Norwich City has given the striker a new lease of life according to Sweden team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

A serious thigh injury and Didier Drogba's arrival at Galatasary meant Elmander found first team opportunities hard to come by in his final season with the Turkish giants.

However, after the Canaries swooped for the 32-year-old on a season-long loan, Ibrahimovic believes his international strike partner's career has been revitalised.

'He is eager to play given what he went through in Galatasaray,' said Ibrahimovic, who will lead the line for the Swedes in their World Cup qualifier against Ireland this evening. 'Now it feels like he's been revamped.

'I know myself how it feels when you change clubs.

'You just want to get out there and play and get the best out of yourself at what you are good at.'

Elmander is likely to partner Ibrahimovic up front after the pair combined impressively during Sweden's 4-2 win in a friendly against Norway when the Paris St Germain striker grabbed a hat-trick.

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'The partnership between us felt good, very good,' added Ibrahimovic. 'It worked well between us against Norway. He did not score but ran a lot and we communicated a lot.'

Ibrahimovic is confident of building a good understanding with Elmander against the Irish as both sides go desperately in search of the victory needed boost hopes of gaining a play-off berth behind Germany in Group C.

Elmander is not the only Norwich player likely to feature with Martin Olsson also likely to start while Anthony Pilkington and Wes Hoolahan are part of Giovanni Trappatoni's Ireland squad.

Robert Snodgrass, Steven Whittaker and Russell Martin are also on international duty with Scotland, who face Belgium, while Ricky van Wolfswinkel and John Ruddy are likely to be named on the bench for Holland and England respectively.