According to reports, Manchester United’s hopes of their star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, staying for yet another season, got a huge boost, as the striker has apparently rejected an offer from MLS club LA Galaxy. The former Swedish international was one of the star performers for the Red Devils last term and now with Wayne Rooney gone, Mourinho might need his experience more than ever.
Quite unfortunately, the towering striker didn’t quite manage to make a mark in his debut season in England. Despite scoring 17 goals and five assists in 28 appearances last season, he had to sit out injured in most of the big games for United. The only exception where his performances stood out in a big game was in the EFL Cup against Southampton, where he scored the winner in the dying minutes.
And if the charismatic forward wouldn’t have been out owing to the knee injury that he incurred in the Europa League, United’s league finish would have improved. Even with Romelu Lukaku in the squad, United’s strike force looks hardly fearsome with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard alongside the Belgian; and Ibrahimovic’s inclusion could take it a level up.
His contribution could matter all the more because United play in the Champions League now, which means, a less hectic schedule. United’s frustrating draws last season, both in the Premier League and EFL Cups had the squad play many replays, which obviously took a toll over their fitness. And Zlatan, being 35 felt it all the more.
With Wayne Rooney gone, Jose Mourinho has to get a replacement at Old Trafford. United’s attack was quite average last season and Lukaku is seen as more of a reinforcement on that front, rather than taking Rooney’s place. The team will need more creative players in the attacking third given the inconsistency and injury plagued experience of Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan last season.
Zlatan could definitely finish the United’s strike force up front as they compete for the Champions League and Premier League. More than anything, he gives the assurance of 15 goals every season that Mourinho badly needs. Though United have got their hands on Lukaku, who was the second top scorer in the Premier League last season, the Belgian’s performance against top sides has been questionable.
He failed miserably against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur last season. And United cannot afford to have yet another toothless domestic campaign next season with frustrating draws.
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