Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Will the Swede be missed at United?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is due to be released from Old Trafford after his one year transfer contract comes to an end.

No talks of any further renewal has been discussed between the forward and Manchester United, meaning once his rehabilitation has been completed, he’s free to walk.

Although the Swedish striker is now at the ripe old footballer’s age of 35, he’s showing no signs of slowing up in his career.

Where most ease up on their play time or retire completely, the Ibrahimovic definitely still has a lot of horsepower left in him and United should really be tying him down whilst they can.

His agent has confirmed he will play another two years and he is 100% content on staying in Europe to see his career out.


Ibra came, saw and conquered

Ibrahimovic was dubbed United’s top goal scorer in this season, bagging 28 in all competitions.

His one-season spell has greatly impacted the way the team have been on the pitch – his presence has been striking to say the least, dominating the box and scoring some seriously impressive goals.

His stats have greatly outdone fellow new transfer Paul Pogba and the world’s most expensive player has done less than impress.
He came, he saw, he conquered

Although I’m not a fan of Ibra’s attitude on the pitch, he certainly set out to accomplish what he said he would. Ibrahimovic promised United fans he would be the God of the Premier League, and although others have topped him as highest scorers of the season, his impact for the club has been noticed globally.

Ibrahimovic has been United’s main weapon of destruction this season, posing serious danger in and out of the box for the opposition.

If the Swede stays in the Premier League next season, it’ll be United on the receiving end of his threat and with inside knowledge of how his ex-teammates defend, he’ll slice past them with minimal trouble.


The future for Mourinho

Linked up with former teammate Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the two made a very powerful duo for United and although Mkhitaryan remains, the club will definitely have to fill a Zlatan-shaped hole in their forward force.

Marcus Rashford is a definite contender to eventually fill the position of main striker, but with a lot still to learn, United may be in for a tricky season if they don’t make new crucial signings. Their bid for the French superstar Antoine Griezmann was rejected by the player who has since extended his contract with Atletico Madrid for another year.

But Jose Mourinho has set his sights on other big fish, including Real Madrid forwards Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez. His tactic to poach the younger attacking players of La Liga could be a foolproof one but with talks of Wayne Rooney’s summer departure, a piece of the Rodriguez deal could involve Rooney walking away from the club he has devoted over 13 years of his life to.

Victor Lindelof of Benfica is another highly speculated target, who has recently sealed his move to United. With Lindelof’s place at the club sealed, meaning his slot in the starting XI will demand talks of fellow centre-backs Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones’ future in Manchester.

One (or even both) of them could be due to follow in tow of Chris Smalling out of the gates this summer. Smalling’s next move is still unsure, with Arsenal in talks of making a handsome swoop for the 27-year old and preparing to fight off fellow Londoners West Ham and centre-back hunters West Brom and Everton, who have both been eyeing him closely.


Top four chances

With Mourinho scouring for new talent and making a pretty hefty clearance of the current players, his attitude towards challenging the other giants for a top four spot is very impressive.

My dislike for Mourinho is as great as the next person’s, but his icy demeanour and cockiness makes for a great no-nonsense approach for getting things done.

His first season with Man Utd has been a less than earth-shattering one; showcasing mainly defensive tactics and the most underwhelming unbeaten streak in Premier League history. I much prefer the circa-Chelsea FC Mourinho, but maybe he’s just dipping his toes in before he goes full throttle with the club.

Personality defects aside, he’s a strong manager and has the potential to pose a very serious threat with his goody bag of potential new signings. United were essentially snubbed of a top four position last season – their loss count equal to the champions’ at just five out of the entire campaign.

But with a hefty tally of tied games, the lost points incurred a painful penalty and put the Devils seven points behind fourth place. However, with similar defensive strategies and a new and improved strike force, there’s absolutely no reason why Mourinho can’t take the club into the top four next season.


Written by Georgia Goulding

Follow Georgia on Twitter @gjgoulding

Check out her excellent football blog: Football, Findings and Fiction

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