Despite their excitement, news of Sky Sports famous ‘sources’ suggesting that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be very interested in a move to Manchester United this summer must merely be added to an ever-increasing pile of outlets that seem to think there’s something in one of Sweden’s most famous sons making the switch to Old Trafford. The 34-year old’s contract with Paris Saint Germain expires when this season ends, and he’s made no secret of his desire for a move to the Premier League by openly talking it up to the English press. Putting Ibrahimovic’s famously volatile relationship with current United manager Louis van Gaal (he dubbed the Dutchman a ‘pompous ass’ in his autobiography), debate has rumbled amongst the club’s fanbase about his suitability for a role in next season’s plans. With United falling desperately short both at home and in Europe after a poor season, perhaps the question should be why wouldn’t he be suitable?
In terms of stats, it doesn’t get more damning for Van Gaal than this; his United side have managed 39 goals in 32 Premier League games, putting their goal tally alongside the likes of relegation strugglers Norwich and Sunderland. Conversely, Ibrahimovic notched his 35th goal of this season in all competitions during a 2-2 draw with Manchester City last week. Of course, PSG have waltzed to the Ligue 1 title this season and the standard of competition in France is vastly inferior to that of the Premier League, but regardless of age, that tally is impressive. At 34? It’s startling.
A player that will be at this summers Euro 2016, with Sweden starting off again the Republic of Ireland, you can see the euro betting odds on the internet, where no doubt Sweden have a chance to make it through the group, don’t they?
Where to fit him in, then? Up front surrounded by the one thing that United have in spades; pace. The likes of Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial are more than capable of doing the legwork whilst Ibrahimovic supplies finishing touches and acts as a target man. The Premier League would surely be a significant challenge for the Swede at this stage of his career, but with the club requiring an influx goals next term and the team’s captain and talisman Wayne Rooney a dwindling force, there’s surely a place for Ibrahimovic in this Manchester United side, regardless of who’s in charge.