Manchester United balls: suspicions linger over Zlatan Ibrahimovich
All hail, then, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the man without whom Manchester United would be a mid-table side, not clutching the EFL Cup and not eyeing a Champion’s League berth for next season. The big Swede’s been playing well, giving Untied a focal point. Writing in the Sun, former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright says Zlatan is the new cult hero at Old Trafford.
“He [Eric Cantona] now has genuine competition as a United cult hero,” says Wrighty. “And I don’t just use Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s EFL Cup final heroics as evidence of that – it’s virtually everything he’s done since arriving last summer.”
Aside from cheating against Crystal Palace – and Cantona’s exploits at Selhust Park win that battle – it’s pretty much all been great from Zlatan. Wright adds: “When he joined, some were a bit sceptical, wondering if he was just after one final payday before hanging up his boots…any suspicions about Zlatan were blown out of the water within a month of his first appearance.”
On August 14, Zlatan scored on his United Premier League debut against Bournemouth. Still in August he then scored two more goals in a 2-0 PL win over Southampton.
But Wright was still suspicion of Zlatan. On October 26, Ian Wright called him a “passenger”. On November 3, Wright mused: “I’m not sure too many other teams would have signed him, even on a free.” And on December 12, Wright knew: “He’s not going to score 25 goals this season, no.”
He’s surpassed that tally already.