Veteran Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to leave Manchester United and move to MLS, according to BBC Sport. He should never have returned to the club in the first place.
The report states that the Red Devils are happy to let the target man leave the club before the end of the Premier League season in order to allow him to make the move to America.
Ibrahimovic’s next destination has not been confirmed yet, and there has been no official announcement, but there has been reported intense interest from LA Galaxy.
The Swede enjoyed an impressive debut season in English football but a knee injury sustained near the end of last season, at home to Anderlecht, ended his campaign early and proved difficult to come back from at the stage of his career Ibrahimovic finds himself at.
Ibrahimovic’s first season at United was impressive in terms of goalscoring, no doubt about it.
He adapted to the physicality of English football well and his aura meant he was capable of intimidating many of his opponents in the Premier League.
However, his static style up front meant that United’s attacking play was often dire and allowed opposition teams to squeeze up the pitch, condensing the play.
His injury meant that Mourinho went out and got Romelu Lukaku, and with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in reserve, Ibrahimovic was simply not needed.
When both Ibrahimovic and Lukaku were fit, they made for a clunky, uncomfortable partnership. How many partnerships of two tall target men do you see, especially among European football’s elite?
In short, there were huge question marks over the Swede’s fitness, he was no longer first choice and he was incompatible with United’s new expensive striking recruit.
That’s why splashing out on his expensive wages was a huge gamble, at best. At worst, it was a rare sentimental decision from Mourinho, wasting a spot in the squad and on the wage bill that could have gone towards a player who could have made a bigger impact.
Ibrahimovic deserves praise for having the desire to come back, but a more cynical viewpoint is that most players would recuperate if it meant earning hundreds of thousands pounds per week at an elite club where they’re not even playing.
His continued employment at Old Trafford was an error of judgement and he should have left for America in the summer. This is long overdue from United.