The above quote, published by Mark Ogden, will no doubt attract criticism and ridicule on social media but is it really that far wide of the mark? Continue reading Is a Zlatan return a good thing?
Manchester United are hoping to finalise the highly anticipated signing of Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata this week, according to a report on the Manchester Evening News.
The Red Devils are hoping to secure Morata’s services before they fly out to the United States for their pre-season tour on Sunday.
The 24-year-old striker is reported to be itching for a move to the Premier League and the Old Trafford club seem to have persuaded him to do so.
The player wants the move but the two clubs have found it hard to agree on a price for the forward. United weren’t keen initially on paying a huge fee for the forward, but after number one target Antoine Griezmann decided to remain at Atletico Madrid, United chose to pursue Morata.
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane wants to keep Morata at Madrid and feels he can have a huge impact at the Spanish Champions but the Morata wants to be the main striker, which is something that Zidane can’t promise him.
However, at United, Morata will be the main forward and will be expecting to start every game. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaving, the Spaniard can be the one to fire United to glory for the next couple of years. The Reds are confident that they can tie up the deal quickly and unveil their new signing before Sunday.
Morata recently got married and has been on holiday in Ibiza, where he reportedly made calls to Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid to speed up his transfer to United so he can prepare himself for the new challenge that he faces.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola says the Swedish striker has undergone successful knee surgery and “will make a full recovery”.
The 35-year-old suffered cruciate knee ligament damage in the Europa League victory of Anderlecht. Raiola emphasised that the Sweden international’s injury was not career-threatening. Ibrahimovic’s one year contract at Manchester United is coming to and end and is yet to agree an extension.
He has been a valuable asset to the United team by scoring 28 goals this season and has begun rehabilitation in Pittsburgh, USA.
After his horrific injury, there have been questions about whether the Swede would ever return to play but this news shows that the striker isn’t ready to give up on the beautiful game just yet.
He recently said on Instagram, “I will go through this like everythings else and come back even stronger. Giving up is not an option.”
The decision for Manchester United now is whether they should offer Zlatan a new one year contract or allow him to become a free agent in the summer. The forward has shown that he can still score goals and is also a crucial part in the development of youngster Marcus Rashford.
I think we should sign one striker in the summer and give Rashford the starting position up front. In recent weeks he has shown that he can cause problems to defenders in the Premier League as well as in Europe. With quality service I believe Rashford can become a prolific goalscorer for Manchester United.
Do you think we should keep Ibrahimovic?
If no, then who should we replace him with?
Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Anthony Martial returned to the starting eleven for the weekends victory over Watford, putting in the kind of display that United fans became accustomed to during his debut season at Old Trafford under Louis Van Gaal. Despite finding the scoresheet for his seventh goal of the season, espnfc.com have reported that Jose Mourinho still feels that the Frenchman is low on confidence.
“The Anthony Martial I want is the Anthony Martial of the last two weeks of training, because if he trains in the way he did in the last two weeks and performs naturally the way he did today or better, because I think he still misses a bit of confidence. I kept shouting to him to attack the defender. He needs that confidence but he is working very well.”
United fans will be encouraged to see Martial back in the side having voiced their support in recent weeks over social media. Despite beating champions Leicester City 3-0 at the King Power Stadium in the previous fixture, Mourinho opted to change the side, bringing Martial back into the side in place of Marcus Rashford. It proved to be a wise decision as the 21-year-old was a constant thorn in the Hornets side, assisting the opener, scored by Juan Mata, before finding the net himself in the second half.
Despite Mourinho’s comments, striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a different take on the scenario.
“When he plays, he is playing well. He isn’t a guy that speaks a lot; he is quiet and very professional. He always tries to do his best, trains hard and that is paying off, just like in this match.
“I think it depends on every individual and what kind of person they are and their approach, how open he is. It is different for every person. He is not going around with his head down. He is training hard, he gives a lot of energy and he wants to play, which is normal.
“When we eat breakfast and he is beside me or if he passes me, we talk. I think everyone talks to everyone. It is not like you try to cheer him up; it is a good atmosphere and the guys are all good guys, very professional.”
Mourinho has been criticised in some quarters for his tough approach when it comes to his under performing stars. However, with Martial seemingly back in the fold, and Schweinsteiger, another success story when it comes to winning over the manager, back in the first team squad, it seems that the boss knows exactly what it takes when sifting through the driftwood.
Before I go on writing this blog post I want to make it clear that it is a reaction to what I have been reading on Twitter and other media outlets. This means what I am writing is my own opinion formed from rumours I have read and not from facts.
This morning I woke to find Twitter in meltdown over Anthony Martial and his change of shirt number from 9, to 11.
I have read on various websites and blogs that he is “annoyed” with Manchester United – mainly because he just launched his “AM9” brand – and that he has unfollowed the club on both Twitter and Instagram.
Fans have reacted on Twitter by both attacking and defending the player.
Before I give my opinion on the matter, not that it is in any way important, I would also like to mention something else I read this morning. I read that United had apparently told Zlatan Ibrahimovic he could have any number he wanted and so he chose Martial’s number, 9.
Okay, I get that Martial may be a little upset with the number change due to his “AM9” brand being launched. But he only has himself to blame for that. Sure, Cristiano Ronaldo uses his number 7 in his branding. But Ronaldo had that number for years. Martial has had the number 9 for ONE year and doesn’t even wear it when he plays for France.
How did Martial know he wasn’t going to have a tough season next year and perhaps lose the number 9 shirt the year after if another proven, world class striker was brought in? I say that with the assumption that plans to create the “AM9” brand started some time ago, before the Zlatan rumours surfaced.
Since when did players assume that they immediately own a shirt number once they have it? Shirt numbers change all the time.
And yeah, okay, you could argue that the club maybe should have said something to him in advance to show him a little respect. However, I don’t necessarily agree with that. At the end of the day, it wouldn’t have changed anything. Martial was losing the number 9 shirt and he would have still had his back up.
Now the bigger problem here is how Manchester United apparently gave so much freedom to Ibrahimovic, telling him he could have any number he wanted. This would be United pulling out a lovely, rouge lipstick, applying it, puckering up and planting one right on Zlatan’s derriere while gently whispering, “No Zlatan, you are bigger than us. You can have anything you want.”
What happened to “no one is bigger than the club”?
I hope it’s not true that Zlatan had the pick of any number. I would have hoped United would have told Zlatan he could have any of the AVAILABLE numbers. Zlatan is a grown man. I’m sure he would have been okay with picking any available number. Right?
At the end of the day, the club should make the choice on who has what number and not have to worry about hurting someone’s feelings. United should not have to sit down with Martial (or any other player for that matter) and tell him his number would be changing.
If Martial decided to use the number 9 in his branding then that’s on him. Did he discuss using the number in his branding with the club? I bet he didn’t.
As far as I am concerned you get given a number and you play.
With the arrival of Zlatan being confirmed today via his Instagram post a lot of parallels have been made of the signing, before even kicking a ball, to another enigmatic striker in one, Eric Cantona.
Now to say that he’d reach the same levels as King Eric would be a tall order indeed but they could share one thing in common when their United career is written. And that is that they may be seen as being the difference in the first league title in a baron time.
So let’s look at the stats; last season Zlatan scored in all competitions, 38 goals and had 13 assists which is not only impressive in its own merit but, when I tell you that United as a squad scored 49 goals last season.
Now, I can already hear you say, “But John that’s in Ligue 1, anyone can score in that league.” That is a debate for another day. The Swedish talisman has scored 302 league goals in his career and he’ll be among the goals next year.
Zlatan has unwavering confidence
So what does he bring? Not only goals but what I think will be most important for United is that not only will he be able to bring experience to the forward line while passing on knowledge to Wilson/Rashford and others, the main threat he’ll bring is his unwavering confidence he has in himself and what he’ll instill in to this team.
Since Sir Alex left the question can be asked who’s embodied that ‘Never say die’ attitude and show the world why we’re called the Devils. He is arrogant but he has so far showed the world why with his ability and a trophy cabinet many could only dream of.
In Zlatan we have a man who can be the missing spark we need to start a new dawn of dominance for the Red Devils which Cantona did before him. He has always had questions put against him his whole career and he’s always answered his critics. And they’ll mount again until the start of the season, so for now, over to you Zlatan.
The Paris St Germain striker could sign for Manchester United next summer.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contract at PSG will expire next summer and Manchester United are thought to be close to agreeing a deal with the Swede.
United will face competition from Major League Soccer sides as it is known that Ibrahimovic is interested in finishing his career in the USA.
Read more on this by visiting the Telegraph website here.
What do you think of the possibility of seeing Ibrahimovic in a Manchester United shirt? Join the discussion over in our forum by clicking here.
Watch some of Ibrahimovic’s best goals below.