The Swede joined the Red Devils in a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in 2016, becoming Jose Mourinho’s second signing.
Ibrahimovic was 34 by the time he arrived at Old Trafford but the veteran felt he had a point to prove in the Premier League as English audiences had always been somewhat sceptical about his status as one of the finest strikers in world football.
The Swede largely silenced his critics with 28 goals in his debut campaign at the Theatre of Dreams but though he was contributing on the pitch, Mourinho wanted Ibrahimovic for his off-field influence.
The AC Milan striker is famously outspoken and McTominay admits the ‘ruthless’ striker could make life ‘tough’ for those that didn’t comply.
‘[He was] ruthless. I’m not going to say too much more than that,‘ McTominay UEFA.com.
‘Good professional, worked hard, big, big presence in the dressing room in terms of his voice and the way that he is with people.
‘He’s a ruthless guy in terms of the way he wants to win 24/7, if you’re not on the same page as him, then you won’t succeed under him, he’ll make life hard for you, so you’d better work hard at winning, otherwise it’ll be a tough time for you.
‘I love guys like that in football. He’s obviously had a legendary career which is a real credit to him, and obviously to his family as well, so I have nothing but big praise for him. He’s a tough guy to be around sometimes, but that’s the positive – I can be [tough to be around] as well.‘
McTominay was speaking ahead of the first leg of United’s last-16 Europa League tie against the Serie A giants this Thursday.
Ibrahimovic is not fit to return to Old Trafford, in what is the standout tie of the round.
United are favourites to win the competition but they’ve been handed another particularly tricky tie, having overcome Real Sociedad in the previous round.