Speculation suggests that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will return to Milan in the coming days for a second stint in what could be a brilliantly astute move from the club.
The 38-year-old has split opinion like few players over the years, with some appreciating his magic more than others while in contrast, some fans have never been convinced by his quality.
There is little doubt though that he has established himself as a fans’ favourite with the Milan faithful, having scored 56 goals in 85 games between 2010 and 2012 while leading us to our last Serie A title nine years ago.
In turn, with reputable journalist Fabrizio Romano noting in his tweet below that a deal is done for his return, it should be a huge boost for all concerned to see Ibrahimovic come back.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 26, 2019
Not the same Zlatan…
It’s crucial to acknowledge that this isn’t the same Ibrahimovic. He’s now 38, has spent the last two seasons in MLS and no doubt is also set to benefit financially on his return to Europe too as suggested by La Gazzetta dello Sport, which may or may not be a key motivation to take on this challenge at this stage of his career.
In turn, while he has shown his quality and class over the last few years, it’s perhaps wise to not expect him to come in, solve all our problems and lead us back into the top four this season.
That is of course the hope, and possible further additions in January will help give us that lift in the second half of the campaign to at least put ourselves in contention.
However, it simply can’t be a case of expecting Ibrahimovic to come in to rescue us as while he’s in the latter stages of his career, he’ll need help around him to ensure that we’re competitive moving forward.
Influence will be crucial…
That said, it’s his quality, experience and mentality that could make all the difference as his mere presence up front, in the dressing room or at the training ground could be pivotal for some of the players in the current squad.
While it’s no secret that we have a young squad balanced with individuals who perhaps possess more experience but haven’t won a great deal in their respective careers, Ibrahimovic has seen and done it all almost.
Not only will his fierce drive and determination potentially get more out of key individuals as he’ll no doubt let them know if they’re not pulling their weight, his ability to improve those around him both in terms of their mentality and influence could be game-changing in the years ahead.
It will depend on those individuals buying into the idea that he’s trying to help them and so they must react in the right way, but ultimately Ibrahimovic will help the Milan players to improve and develop on and off the pitch, and so they must take that opportunity for however long he stays at San Siro this time round.
The Swede scored 53 goals in 58 games for LA Galaxy, and while question marks can perhaps be raised over the standard of the league, that’s no easy feat and he has shown on countless occasions that he can still produce a moment of magic to change a game.
In turn, whether it’s as a starter and terrorising opposition defences with his physicality, presence and quality on and off the ball or pushing Krzysztof Piatek and taking the pressure off his shoulders, it’s a smart, short-term solution for all concerned.
Time will tell if it plays out the way we all hope, but the positives at this point certainly outweigh any potential negatives and it will simply be a great sight for many to see Ibrahimovic back in a Milan shirt trying to help turn our season around.
We’ve got it all to do if we are to even put ourselves in contention from January onwards, but re-signing Ibrahimovic gives us someone to get behind and provides a lift for everyone connected to the club. If the deal goes through as expected, it will then all be down to him to make the contribution we all want to see from him.
All set for Ibra return to Milan. Smart move. Don’t expect him to have a major individual impact, but he’ll still bring quality to the side and have an influence, but importantly experience/mentality will be huge for those around him. Much needed boost for whole club. #ForzaMilan
— Sumeet Paul (@SP_Calcio) December 26, 2019