Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a man whose name terrorises a lot many defenders. A man, whose presence in a team is enough to lift up the spirit of all the players. There are a lot many rumours going around which states that the Swede is going to Manchester United at the end of the season. Well they may be true or maybe not. But one thing which I feel will be huge is the impact that he will have on Manchester United if he joins them and I feel he will be a very good option for the Red Devils this summer.
Let us have an in-depth look at why he will be a good option for United this summer.
Even though he is 34, his statistics have been such that it doesn’t do justice to his age. He has always outperformed his age. In this season itself he has scored 23 goals in 23 appearances and has created 31 chances in total and has 10 assists to his name. He has an average pass accuracy of 79%. The passing accuracy seems to be a tiny bit less but when you consider the fact that he is a striker who is supposed to convert most of the passes into goals and maybe pass the ball around more, it is one which can be well accepted. (Stats via Squawka.com)
He also has an average duels win percentage of 58. After Thiago Silva, it’s the Swede who was has been PSG’s best performer this season followed by Angel Di Maria. Since joining PSG in 2012, he has scored 30, 26 and 19 goals in the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 season respectively. If he can get another 8 goals in the remaining 9 matches, he will have his best season in the PSG jersey yet.
Even though Manchester United have the likes of Rooney, Martial, Rashford and Keane up front in the attack, a player of Zlatan’s capability is what they are missing. With no offence to Rooney, he has been average for major parts in the current season and also in patches in the last two seasons. With a player like Ibrahimovic in the team, one thing that United can always be sure of is goals and that is exactly the thing that they missed so badly in the first half of the current season.
Style of play:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been described as a player who is good in the air, tall, strong and agile; he plays well with his back to goal and boasts some of the best finishing, vision, passing and ball control around. He has been criticised a lot for his work-rate in big matches, but he has scored in some of the biggest matches in football including the Milan Derby in Italy, El Clasico in Spain, Le Classique in France, and UEFA Champions League and UEFA Euro Championship games against some of the strongest opponents in football.
Ibrahimovic also boasts of being the only player to have scored for six different clubs in the Champions League. The Swede is capable of playing anywhere along the front line, but he is most often deployed as a striker, or as a creative supporting forward, which allows him to provide assists for team mates.
The “Zlatan” Effect:
The Zlatan effect is a thing. Players know it, advertisers know it, managers know it, the referees know it and last but not the least the fans know it. Any team that Zlatan plays in has an aura around it. It’s the Zlatan aura that surrounds the team. When he plays for Sweden, it seems like it is only him that carries that whole team forward. This reminds me of the 4 goals he scored against England where he single handedly demolished them. He is an enigma that makes the opponents think twice before getting on to the field against him.
In a recent interview, Gary Cahill has mentioned that Ibrahimovic is the main force that they have to tackle in the second leg of Chelsea’s Champions league clash against PSG. The Zlatan effect has such an impact that it made Nike run a campaign named “Dare to Zlatan”. There is an instance in a match in which the referee tries to book Zlatan and calls him to step forward and accept the yellow card. Zlatan being himself asked the referee to step forward and give it to him and the official even succumbed to Zlatan’s arrogance. There are numerous occasions where Zlatan has owned interviewers and media who tried to mess around with him.
All the above mentioned instances make Zlatan a perfect match for United. The Red Devils have always boasted of having players who possessed the “I’m the boss” attitude. He will follow the likes of Eric Cantona and Roy Keane, players who had somewhat similar arrogance like him and donned the United red with pride. The English Premier League and Manchester United needs players who can face the daunting English media with guts and Zlatan is the perfect guy to do it.