Five reasons why Zlatan is bound to flop at Man United

Zlatan Ibrahimovic may have signed for Manchester United but does his glittering CV guarantee success?

Manchester United is a club like no other and, with managers, players and board struggling to rediscover that winning formula, we look at the barriers that might mean their marquee striker does not have it all his own way.

Many are expecting the Swede to hit the ground running in the Premier League and help fire Manchester United to the title but at 34-years-old, it’s more likely that he’ll struggle to adapt to life in England.

Here’s why…

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Burnout

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Ibrahimovic is no spring chicken but, at 34, he was still a talisman for both Paris Saint-Germain and the Swedish national team last season – racking up a massive 56 appearances.

Zlatan has had no real summer break and looked a shadow of his fully-fit self as Sweden crashed out of Euro 2016 in the groups.

But he will still be expected to hit the ground running at Old Trafford and, without the winter break he has been used to at previous clubs in Europe, by Christmas he could be spent.

English football

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The big Swede may have scored 113 goals in four seasons with PSG – but the French Ligue 1 is a totally different prospect from the Premier League.

In those four years Zlatan will likely have lost a yard of pace and a split second of anticipation.

He may have strength and agility on his side but English defences are quicker, more physical and more organised and the striker will not enjoy anything like the amount of space he was afforded in France.


The fans

Manchester United v Everton - Barclays Premier League

Manchester United fans are accustomed to success and, despite winning the FA Cup last season, they are running out of patience.

The last few summers have witnessed a succession of big-name arrivals that have cost hundreds of millions but delivered very little.

Red Devils supporters can be very patient but they do see young, homegrown talent as the lifeblood of the club and, if it looks like Ibrahimovic is standing in the way of the club’s identity then it will not be long before they are on his back.


Attitude

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Chelsea

When you sign Zlatan, you are not just getting a player but an ego. More so than Cristiano Ronaldo, Eric Cantona or even George Best before them, Ibrahimovic’s world revolves solely around him.

This is a man who before the Euros called three press conferences about his chosen destination this summer – only to wait until last week to reveal it – when, in reality, we all knew the answer anyway.

Historically, United do not have much time for egos, so it will be interesting to see how he fits into the dressing room.


Jose Mourinho

Mourinho2

The new Old Trafford gaffer has worked with Ibra before – when the pair won the Serie A title in 2008-09 – but both have changed irrevocably in the meantime.

The Special One has everything to prove having failed at Chelsea last season, whereas Ibrahimovic is in town for one last hurrah – a one-year contract just to say he played in the Prem.

Mourinho is desperate to get his career back on track and go down as a legend. Zlatan’s reputation is already assured and if the fans start to lose patience, Mourinho is not likely to side with his big-time striker.