On Thursday, Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic signed a one-year deal with Manchester United. The 35-year-old will return to Old Trafford just a few short months after leaving the club following a similar deal last season.
A knee injury curtailed Ibrahimovic’s campaign last season and he is still recovering from the problem sustained in April.
A successful debut campaign at United
Despite sustaining a serious knee injury, Ibrahimovic’s debut campaign at United was a success. The former PSG striker scored 28 goals in 46 appearances, as he helped the Red Devils win the League Cup and the Europa League.
For a free signing, nobody could complain about the striker’s output when it came to goals and presence in the team. He seemed to settle into the United team immediately and was undisputed first choice in the central striker role.
His experience no doubt helped the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard among others develop their own games. Without Ibrahimovic, the team would not have been as successful as they were last season.
His enthusiasm and sheer force of character spread throughout United’s squad. With a player with such a strong character as the forward, players tend to buy into his positive attitude and up their own games.
Lukaku is more suited to United’s style of play
Manchester United have started their Premier League campaign like a house on fire. The Red Devils are producing fast free-flowing football at times, involving the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
United are playing the sort of football that they were unable to play when Ibrahimovic was the focal point of their attack. Ibrahimovic is no doubt a top-class finisher. However, he can be relatively static in his movement.
Summer signing Romelu Lukaku offers far more mobility, pace and power. The 24-year-old is arguably nowhere near as good when it comes to technique as Ibrahimovic, but his three aforementioned attributes are frightening.
Lukaku in many ways is the perfect striker for United. He has a good understanding with his teammates already. The Belgian international also offers United the option of playing a counter-attacking style of football.
Ibrahimovic for all his ability does not have that in his locker. They are two very different players, who in their own right are very good players. However, when it comes to players that suit the way Jose Mourinho wants to play Lukaku edges out his veteran teammate.
I am sure everybody connected with United would love the team to continue playing the current brand of football. Ibrahimovic up front would stifle that style of play slightly.
Ibrahimovic could prove to be a useful asset
Re-signing Ibrahimovic was a bit of a no-brainer for Mourinho and United. The Red Devils have signed a striker with immense experience and a winning mentality on a free transfer. United could not have signed a better player than Ibrahimovic elsewhere on a free.
Current media reports suggest that the Swede could return to action at the end of October. There is still time for the veteran striker to have an impact for Mourinho’s team this season.
United are currently top of the Premier League table and are odds of 11/8 to finish the campaign as the top team in the north west.
Neighbours Manchester City major contenders for the title. If United manage the above feat then they could be crowned champions at the end of the campaign. Ibrahimovic’s presence at the club cannot damage United’s title hopes.
The former Swedish star will have to accept that he is now back up to Lukaku. If his massive ego can take that, then the former Barcelona star may prove a shrewd acquisition by United.
Is it a wise decision for Manchester United to re-sign Ibrahimovic?
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