If you’re a Liverpool fan who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past few days you’ll be all too aware of the rumours that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a target for the summer transfer window.
A batch of speculation as far-fetched as is likely to be produced this year, the whole idea is flawed to the point of being ridiculous. Yet with Brendan Rodgers searching for a winning formula in the wake of a poor campaign for Mario Balotelli and a virtually pointless venture from Rickie Lambert, the Northern Irishman may well be in the market for a new forward.
Zlatan to Liverpool
Now whilst we’re keen to stress that we’re not behind the idea that Zlatan to Anfield is feasible, fairly credible sources like the Liverpool Echo, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express have lent time to dissecting and discussing it, so we thought it would be rude not to do the same.
So here we go. Zlatan to Liverpool at the end of the season as Rodgers embarks upon a summer of transition he hopes will lead to major silverware. What do we think? We think it’s got the potential to be one of the biggest mistakes the Reds boss will make in his career on Merseyside.
The big Swede is a household name in football, as much for his egocentric demeanour and rather unique approach to the media as his incredibly impressive C.V and his untold ability with a ball at his feet.
An impeccable career
Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain have all benefited from his presence up front, and barely a manager he’s worked under - Pep Guardiola the possible exception - would be prepared to say anything but good things about him.
Yet the ship that would have seen him arrive on English shores ready to become the scourge of the Premier League has long since passed; he’s no longer the player he was. A devastating force on his day, no doubt, and still good enough to terrorise centre-backs aplenty, but he’s on his way down, and it won’t be long before that claim becomes abundantly clear.
Perhaps that’s why PSG might just entertain the notion of getting him off the books whilst he can still command more than just a modest transfer fee. The Ligue 1 giants are filthy rich but stupid they are not, and unless they want to incur more Financial Fair Play sanctions they’ll be forced to milk some of the cash cows on their books.
Looking at it from that angle it becomes apparent that Zlatan might well leave the Parc des Princes this summer in order to be replaced by a younger model. Football is a game that constantly evolves after all, and soon-to-be 34-year-old doesn’t represent an enviable asset in anyone’s book.
Which brings us round to why Liverpool would not just be daft to try and offer him his bow in the Premier League; they’d be downright insane. One year is the absolute maximum they’d get out of the controversial forward before his age made it extremely untoward to have him as a starting player.
The amount of space on the wage bill he’d take up - he’s taking home a truly jaw-dropping package in France - would frankly be a terrible waste of money, and even then the Reds would have to adapt their game to fit him in.
A towering presence in the final third, Ibrahimovic is best utilised when the ball is played into his feet and he’s either able to turn and jinx his way through the box or play his teammates in with flicks and tricks. He never really was a ‘last man’ type of guy to begin with, and he’s certainly not that now he’s running on 33-year-old legs.
In truth, as a fan of Zlatan the character I’d love to see him grace the Premier League before hanging up those big ol’ boots of his. Zlatan the player though suits Liverpool about as well as Brad Jones suits being named Steven Gerrard’s successor as captain, which is to say not all.
Liverpool fans, do any of you think an Ibrahimovic deal could be remotely productive? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below...