August 24, 2017
Manchester United have signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a new one-year deal keeping him at the Old Trafford club for another season. The journey for the Swedish legend will continue. Ibrahimovic will wear the number ten shirt, vacated by Wayne Rooney this summer meaning United will have two out-and-out strikers in their squad with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial also able to lead the line, should they be needed. United’s strength has been increased as, when fit, Ibrahimovic will be a big boost to the squad just for his winning mentality alone. Last season, the Swedish striker scored 28 goals in all competitions, also assisting ten goals, meaning he was involved in 38 goals, which for a 35-year-old, was not a bad showing despite the number of chances missed.
United signed Romelu Lukaku earlier in the summer and he has scored three goals for his club in the two Premier League matches played; a brace against West Ham United and one against Swansea City last weekend. Having Ibrahimovic in reserve will be great for Jose Mourinho and his side, also the fact the club will need to challenge for the Premier League title this season, something which after two matches seems to be going to plan. United do have a long way to go though. This weekend United will face Leicester City at Old Trafford in the evening kick off on Saturday and whilst Ibrahimovic is not expected to be fit, being four months into his recovery from a knee injury, his presence in the squad will boost the site even more, with confidence already high.
Many may wonder why United have re-signed Ibrahimovic as by the time he plays again, he will be 36, but as he had shown last season, age is just a number, especially when you are Zlatan Ibrahimovic. To prove himself better than Wayne Rooney last season, being five years his senior shows the decline of the former captain, who this season had shown some great form with Everton, scoring both goals in their 1-0 Premier League victory over Stoke City and the 1-1 draw with Manchester City earlier this week. Ibrahimovic is a winner, helped win three trophies for the club last season, scoring goals in the FA Community Shield and the EFL Cup, helping United carve their way into the UEFA Europa League final and obtain that elusive UEFA Champions League spot this season.
Speaking about the decision to sign Ibrahimovic for another season, Jose Mourinho, speaking to the official Manchester United website, said:
“We are delighted Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] is on the road to recovery and we are equally delighted to have his ambition and experience back with us. After his contribution last season he deserves our trust and we will be patient waiting for him to return. I have no doubt that he will be important in the second part of the season.”
Ibrahimovic, speaking about his reasons for re-signing with United and the fact he has unfinished business at the club, said:
“I am back to finish what I started. It was always mine and the club’s intention for me to stay. I cannot wait to get back out on that Old Trafford pitch, but I also know that I have to take my time to make sure that I am ready. I have been working hard and will continue to do so to make sure I am in the best possible condition for my return to the pitch.”
United and Mourinho know what is to be expected from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the supporters know that he can still pull it in a top league. Having his experience, knowledge of the game and the ability to win on the side, even if it from the sidelines for the foreseeable future, will be a massive boost this season. If his recovery from his knee injury is closer than was expected, which would be unusual and something which would need to be tested to its limits, it will be great to see the Swede back on the pitch doing what he does best. Still, it is more likely for him to be involved later in the year, or perhaps after Christmas which was expected with the player signing a short-term contract in January. Whatever Mourinho has up his sleeve seems to be working and this could show United’s strength this season that extra bit more.