Zlatan Ibrahimovic got his scoring record going for Manchester United as he headed in an important winner in the FA Community Shield against Leicester City. The Swede signed from PSG as a free agent at the start of this season and many have questioned the signing, not because he is not quality but because of the age of the Swedish star.
Zlatan will be 35 years of age in a few months and that certainly will not help him as he plays in the Premier League. Even Arsene Wenger had to say something about the star before a pre-season game for the Gunners.
As quoted by ESPN, the Frenchman wasn’t sure about how Zlatan would do given his age at the moment.
“Going for him is his class, his talent, his desire to do well. What goes against him is that he is not the youngest player any more, so you are questioned about that in every game.”
Looking at the statement from the Frenchman, it does make some sense. Zlatan is not someone in his 20s, who can get better over time in fact, his footballing skills should be on the decline but the funny part is that Zlatan has always been amongst the goals for PSG.
Even when he was playing last season for the Paris side, he kept on racking the goals and finished the season with 50 goals from 51 games, an incredible record for the Swedish striker. Zlatan also seemed to bring a lot of quality to the side and that is something which will be present within the Swede.
Age will always be a factor in the Premier League but one thing that is important to note is that Zlatan is not being brought into the side to do a lot of running. He is brought in, to score goals for the side, something that they missed out on last season and that is what the former Inter Milan, AC Milan and PSG striker does best.
Manchester United also have signed him for a specific job and that is to only score goals. He will bring in his own leadership qualities though, another thing Wenger alluded to about the talented Swedish star.
“On the mental aspect, he will bring something to Man United as well. He is a winner, he has charisma and he will give them strength as well as his individual quality.”
That is another thing Manchester United missed out last season, the ability to keep it together and not bottle it against some of the bigger teams. Zlatan would also not be taking anything lightly, especially when the opposition get in on his face or when his own teammates slack off.
Arsene Wenger could have done with someone similar this season, a leader in the team and maybe that is why he had a little jibe about Zlatan being old.
Age might be a factor when you are trying to make a name for yourself in the league but Zlatan is
Zlatan. The ball will come to him and he will score goals, he might not end up as the leading striker in England but he has the quality to push Manchester United to the top of the Premier League table and at the end that is all that counts.
It does seem that Wenger is trying to play mind games with the Special One and while Jose Mourinho will come back with a comment or two pretty soon, this idea of Wenger’s could backfire on him, big time!