Rumour has it, that when Jesus Christ resurrected, it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic who pulled the rock away for God’s son. Therefore, it is no surprise to hear that the super Swede is earmarking an early resurrection himself, with Manchester United hopeful that Ibrahimovic will be on the bench for their early December clash with Arsenal – a whole month ahead of schedule.
It’s all setup for Ibrahimovic to prove himself superhuman again, to return quicker than footballers ten years younger than him, to return with a goal against the club and manager that so nearly signed him two decades ago and for the former Paris Saint-Germain striker to then explode on social media with an amusing quip in his post-match interview.
Ibrahimovic en Arsenal cuando estuvo cerca de jugar en el equipo de Arsène Wenger pic.twitter.com/nEXUrXbnO6
— Fútbol con Honor (@FutbolHonor) October 6, 2017
Jose Mourinho’s desire to want to offer the striker another contract was surprising, not least because of the long-term injury, but because of the bigger issue around Ibrahimovic’s suitability to Manchester United.
Sure, a successful goals return of nearly 30 was superb from the former Barcelona man, but the overriding feeling was that Ibra’s desire to score and his all round bravado was a hinderance to the team – from being selfish in front of goal to intimidating the younger members of the squad (it’s no surprise Marcus Rashford has enjoyed an exciting start to this campaign, for club and country, in Ibra’s absence).
How Jose manages Ibra’s return with Romelu Lukaku will be interesting – the Swedish legend won’t accept playing second fiddle to anyone – and the Belgium international already felt like he had to ask Ibrahimovic if he could have his No.9 shirt, despite, at the time, I Am Zlatan being a free agent and not yet re-signed by the Red Devils.
Reporter: What would you do if a player did not give you the penalty like Cavani & Neymar?
Zlatan: I will make the penalty area his grave.
— Zlatan Facts (@ZIatanFacts) October 4, 2017
You doubt the two can play together, and shoving Romelu Lukaku out wide doesn’t make any sense, especially given the form of the wide players in Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Mourinho was burned when playing with fire at Real Madrid, in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo, and although this situation is more of a campfire compared to CR7, it will be interesting to see how the former Chelsea boss navigates it.