Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the best player on Manchester United last season. Even though the Swedish forward did not play down the stretch due to a knee injury, there is no question he was a big part of the side. Due to this, several fans expressed their anger when they realised Zlatan was not going to receive a new contract ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.
United’s move made sense at the time. Zlatan had suffered a ligament injury, and most experts believed he would be out of action until January at the earliest. But things have changed over the last few months, and there has been talk about a potential reunion between both parties.
Everything started with Zlatan’s interest of playing for United next season. The striker received offers from MLS and several European sides, but stated his desire of staying at Old Trafford for one more year. Jose Mourinho also opened the door for his return. And you know something? Both sides need to act quick and sign a new deal. Even if it’s a one-year contract. United would benefit greatly from a Zlatan return.
Some might say United already have their striker in Romelu Lukaku. However, what happens if the Belgian suddenly goes down with an injury? Maybe he needs time to adjust. Or maybe he is not good enough for United. After all, good players sometimes flop when facing a bigger challenge. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial would be decent backup options. But how does it look to have Zlatan as the backup striker? That could create havoc on opposing defences.
There is also the timing of Zlatan’s recovery. One of the reasons why United did not want to offer a new deal to Ibrahimovic was because he was not going to be ready before 2018. However, the Swede is well ahead on his recovery schedule. He is already working with the ball and running. And recent reports have suggested Zlatan might be ready to return around October. That is a three-month advantage. And more importantly, this would make Zlatan available for most of the season. That’s a big plus that needs to be considered.
Zlatan might seal his return to Old Trafford before the new season starts. But United needs to act quickly to achieve that goal. The Swede might not play a big role in the team, but there is no doubt his sole presence makes the team far better in the short-, medium- and long-term scenario.