It is still a surprise to many at how Zlatan Ibrahimovic has performed in the Premier League since his move to Manchester United. There were concerns that the Swede would find it difficult to cope with rigours and the demands of the English League simply because of his age and that his body would not be able to bear it.
Instead, the forward’s contribution has been extraordinary. He is arguably already the most successful ‘free’ signing in Premier League history. And having won leagues in Holland, Italy, Spain and France his performances show he can still perform at a high level.
Though United may not win the league in his first season here, if he extends his stay beyond this season he could get the chance of adding the Premier League to his title collections.
He has now scored 24 this season and 18 in his past 20 matches, after a run of just one in 11 games, proving that he has adjusted to a league that is regarded as the most demanding physically in Europe .
His goal against Blackburn in the FA Cup was his seventh match-winning strike across all competitions and one could imagine that, without the former Inter Milan and Barcelona striker, United would be 11 points worse off – and only Chelsea’s Diego Costa can match that total for his club.
Not only that, no Premier League player has featured regularly this season in all competitions than Ibrahimovic, who has been involved in 36 matches and among the strikers, Ibrahimovic has played 267 more league minutes than Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, 500 more than Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino.
He has been offered a 12-month contract extension. It is left to see if he will accept it.