The influence of Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Manchester United has finally been witnessed yesterday, as the club announced the signing of free agent Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The former Paris Saint Germain joins the club following the expiration of his contract at the Parc des Princes.
Ibrahimovic arrives at the club off the back of his best ever goal scoring season, despite being the ripe old age of 34. Indeed, last term for Paris Saint Germain he scored an incredible 52 goals in 51 games across all competitions, including 38 in 31 French Ligue 1 appearances.
To add context to this statistic, this was a goal tally saw the Maverick Swede in move goals last season than the entire Manchester United squad combined. Across Europe, he also ranks as the third highest scorer in Europe in the last four seasons (113), behind only Cristiano Ronaldo (148) and Lionel Messi (143).
However, despite Zlatan’s heroics in France, the Old Trafford faithful are unlikely to have forgotten the failure of Radamel Falcao to hit any kind of form, following his loan move from Monaco two seasons ago. After impressing elsewhere in Europe, he faced a huge struggle in adapting to the pace of the Premier League.
Although the Colombia’s circumstances were somewhat different to Ibrahimovic’s – the former was struggling following a long-term injury lay off prior to his switch, whereas the latter is just getting on a bit – concerns regarding the Swede’s ability to adapt to the English game will resonate strongly among certain factions.
This notion will have been further ingrained as a consequence of the 34-year-old’s failure to score at the Euros in France this summer. Indeed, his Sweden side crashed out of the groups stages of the tournament, having picked up just a single point, and having scoring one goal as a team in three games.
Having said this, there have been a select number of more optimistic Red Devils supporters who believe the arrival of the Zlatan will see him strike up a partnership with Jose Mourinho, similar to that witnessed during Eric Cantona’s playing days under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Whether the charismatic Swede can live quite up to those standards remains to be seen – one suspect he will not – however, the majority of fans will be more than happy to settle for a respectable goal return in his first, and potentially only, year at the club.
This leads us perfectly to the question: how many goals will Zlatan Ibrahimovic score, in all competitions, during his debut season at Old Trafford? Have your say by simply voting in the poll below:
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