Tony Cascarino compares Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Community Shield display to Mario Balotelli

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Football News

Zlatan Ibrahimovic really is one of a kind.

The 34-year-old, now at Manchester United, has won silverware wherever he has played and established himself as one of football's greatest ever strikers.

And he's already made his mark under Jose Mourinho, having scored the winning goal against Leicester City in the Community Shield on Sunday.


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Not everyone was impressed by Ibrahimovic's performance at Wembley, though.

For ex-Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino, the Swede was poor throughout and looked like a player who had "just bagged one last contract".

Writing for the Sunday Times, he said: "Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrived at Manchester United on a free transfer and, for 80 minutes, he played like the kind of free transfer who had just bagged one last contract."

So underwhelmed was Cascarino that he not only predicted Ibrahimovic would struggle in the Premier League, but also compared him to none other than Liverpool flop Mario Balotelli.

"I think he will have a few quiet games and maybe when he's been quiet and on the brink of being left out the fans might start to turn," he added.

"He can seem a bit like Mario Balotelli at times, strolling around and that can be frustrating for fans to see, particularly if times get tough.

"I would be very surprised if he manages to score 20 goals or more this season."

Ibrahimovic certainly looked rusty against Leicester - he lost possession on a number of occasions - but to liken his playing style to Balotelli's is perhaps a stretch too far.

The former Paris Saint-Germain hitman will need time to adapt to his new surroundings at the Theatre of Dreams and, let's not forget, the Premier League is widely regarded as football's most demanding and physical division.

In truth, it wouldn't come as a great surprise if Ibrahimovic does struggle in England's top-flight.

Having played at Barcelona, Inter Milan, AC Milan and PSG, the former Sweden international is used to dominating and will be unaccustomed to playing in a league with such vast competition.

After all, United will be challenging the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Leicester and Liverpool for the title.

Quite how Ibrahimovic will cope with the rigours of English football remains to be seen but, if anyone can handle it, it's the self-proclaimed 'God of Manchester'.

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Leicester City
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
UEFA Champions League
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Mario Balotelli

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