As we all know, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a footballer renowned across the globe as a perennial winner. The now 35-year-old took a huge risk in moving to Manchester United over the summer, but it is a decision that is paying off for both player and club.
Not much was expected of Ibrahimovic, in fact, I said I’d be happy if he managed to find the back of the net ten times across all competitions in the season. My, has he proved us all wrong. Zlatan already has twenty-three goals, including fifteen in the Premier League – meaning he is right up there in the chase for the Golden Boot.
It really was a masterstroke of epic proportions from Jose Mourinho to bring in ‘Ibra’. He’s become a new icon for the rest of the players to follow, and someone for the fans to adore. He has this aura around him that not many players carry, and when he’s on the ball, you just know that something special could happen at any moment.
Alright, last night wasn’t the prettiest of hat-tricks you’ll ever see, but as the saying goes – they all count. His first, a free-kick that took a wicked deflection and seemed to go past the hapless keeper in slow motion. The second was a goal made by Mancunian Marcus Rashford, who laid it on a plate for the big man. The third, a dubious penalty decision, but at the end of the day, Ibrahimovic stepped up and coolly slotted home.
The main reason he is here is to win trophies, and we all know how difficult that can be in such a physically demanding country like the English game. However, he’s in with a real chance of scooping silverware, even as early as this month, with the Red Devils taking on Southampton in the EFL Cup final at Wembley. This would be the perfect starting point for the former PSG man – but it’d only be the beginning for him.
His main goal is domestic league glory, which is something he’s achieved at every club he has ever played for. He won’t have long to achieve it at the Theatre of Dreams though, perhaps this season (where a title looks unlikely), and the one following that if he chooses to stay.
It’s not just the on-field contribution that you get from Zlatan, either. Off the field he gives his younger teammates someone to look up to and learn from. I’m looking directly at both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, who’ll be vying for the leading striker role when Ibrahimovic decides to move on or call it a day for good.
This season has been one of epic proportions for Old Trafford’s new cult hero, and he’s well on the way to eclipsing one of the best single goalscoring seasons we’ve been honoured to witness by a United player in recent years. Robin van Persie found the back of the net thirty times in his debut season, and Ibrahimovic is rapidly closing in on that. Personally, I believe he’ll do it, but all those goals will only count for something if we’re celebrating a major trophy or two come May. Zlatan is an integral part of that success, and he’s hungrier than ever to deliver the goods in the famous red jersey.