So Ibrahimovic becomes the first signing of the Mourinho era at United. A strong statement of their intention to bounce right back into title contention again. Ibrahimovic alone won’t guarantee then winning the title, but he could well prove to be the first domino that leads to a new Manchester United dynasty. Somewhat like how Eric Cantona bright about a revolution at the club over twenty years ago. Ibrahimovic is 35 years old, but as recent as last year was banging in over 30 goals in the French league, so he certainly has enough left in the tank to have a massive impact on United even on just a one year contract.
The primary reason for signing Ibra. After a sad season in the goal scoring department, Ibra guarantees more goals next season. The guy has scored over 20 goals each season in the last decade, covering not just the French league, but at Real Madrid and Inter, so he has been knocking in goals at the highest levels of competition and should not have any problems doing so in England. Lethal forwards who consistently put in 18-20 goals a season have been a constant throughout United’s last dynasty under Fergie. Cantona, Andy Cole, Yorke, Van Nistelrooy, a younger Rooney, and finally Van Persie. It’s not the only thing they’ve been lacking the last three seasons, but it is a big gaping hole, one that Zlatan will certainly fill.
2. The winning aura
United used to walk about with a special something, an aura of mystique, superiority and even arrogance. The sense that they were better than everyone else, something built up over twenty years of winning but also the class of players Fergie had put together. Sadly, it took only the years to almost completely dissipate. Zlatan is exactly the type of the player to bring back that aura. A proven winner at every level across Europe, with the charisma and mysterious/twerky character to match, Zlatan will be loved by the media, feared by opponents and respected by teammates.
3. Inspire the youth
Much like Cantona to the famous Class of 92, Zlatan will be expected to be the mentor to the promising new generation of young United players. The one positive thing that came from LVG’s reign was the emergence of a handful of potential stars from United’s youth system, which has looked like a dry well towards the end of Fergie’s tenure. Rashford, Borthwick-Jackson, Fosu-Mensah being the key names, with McNair, Wilson, Janujaz possibly being contributors next season as well. Zlatan’s work ethic and proven track record will do well to inspire them in training, on and off the pitch.
4. More signings
Big names attract other big names. And Zlatan will certainly not be the only signing Mourinho makes this off season. United’s appeal as a top club destination has been in question since Fergie retired, and the lack of Champions League football only makes things worse. But bringing Zlatan on board this early before the Euros kickoff signals a strong intention to get back into the elite circle of Europe, and make the club much more appealing to potential signings. That can now sell the idea of joining the club as the New group of catalysts to start off a new era of success at United.