There have been hints dropped by the Swede and current United manager Jose Mourinho since his contract ran to an end at the end of last season, but it’s finally official that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be re-signing with the Red Devils for a further year.
Due to a severe cruciate ligament injury sustained near the end of last season, his return to top-flight football was in question, not least due to him being 35 years old. Most players who suffer injuries of that severity tend to take incredibly long to recover, and often don’t play at their full capacity again, but it seems Ibrahimovic has managed to recover enough for Manchester United to feel confident about signing him up.
The main question now is what the squad dynamic will be regarding high-flying newcomer Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, since they both play in the same position. Lukaku has taken Ibrahimovic’s #9 shirt from last season, which may provide a hint as to which one of them is at the top of the pecking order. Ibra isn’t the type to play second fiddle to anyone, so Mourinho may have some headaches regarding which one of the two plays when. Fortunately both are likely to get a huge amount of game time since United’s return to Champions League football will result in a massive number of fixtures in the November-February period, meaning squad depth will be a key factor for all teams.
With Zlatan’s haul of 28 goals in 45 games across all competitions he’s still a valuable asset, and despite his quick recovery from injury his speed on the pitch can sometimes slow United’s play down significantly. More than goals, though, his attitude and dedication will make for welcome elements in the dressing room, with all the youth currently developing in United’s squad having an experience and confident personality is incredibly beneficial. The question now is how far can he carry United? He’s managed to win the league in every country he’s played at, is that trend going to continue this season at Old Trafford?