In a market where a fairly decent English player is sold for a guaranteed £25million, sometimes you need to look elsewhere to make improvements to your squad. And this is where the free agent transfer market comes in very handy.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the perfect example. While he may be 35 years old, he has already scored over 25 goals and won Manchester United a trophy on his own. But can he really be considered the best ever? There’s plenty of examples of players who have made an impact over a much longer period of time, who also arrived for absolutely nothing (apparently £300,000-a-week makes you a freebie):
Zlatan’s only at Manchester United for the short-term and there are others who have established themselves for a much greater period. Whilst he is arguably the signing of the season, and certainly this season’s best free transfer, he isn’t the best ever.
In terms of forwards, Robert Lewandowski has already scored 30 goals this season. This is a player who should have been bought for at least £65million, but instead continued the trend of Borussia Dortmund players who leave for Munich. It would have been a disaster for other Premier League clubs if this man moved to United.
It would be wrong to assign bias to solely considering forwards too, players such as Andrea Pirlo, Michael Ballack and Esteban Cambiasso were all massively significant signings. The German and Italian went on to make over 100 appearances for their respective clubs, while Cambiasso became an Inter Milan legend with over 300 games for I Nerazzurri.
It’s simply too soon to consider Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the games best ever free transfer.