I am pleased and honoured to add my contrary view to this article which originated from a well-respected writer for Gunners Town, my friend Andrea Rosetti.
I agree that Zlatan Ibrahamovich has been and still is a very accomplished footballer and if the offer to sign him had come up 4 years ago, I would have been loved Arsenal to sign him. At 30 years of age and still a fine athlete, we could be sure that there would be at least two good seasons in him.
The pros for signing him would be that he is on a free transfer so we would only be responsible for his salary and his agent`s fees. I assume that he does have an agent and if that is the case then we would have to pay a percentage of his total salary. The amount would depend on the type of contract. Would it be on a yearly rolling contract? In which case by the time he had aged 34 we would have paid £600,000 per week (£31,000.000 pa) which is what I have read that he is asking for. Bear in mind that Messi is on £500,000 per week so it may well be true.
Unfortunately, he is not 30, he is 34 now and even if he only lasts two years, he will earn £62m and his agent @20% a further £12.2m. At 36, there will be no resale value, in fact even at 30, on a rolling contract there would be no residual value so it is dead money and all that we will get is the fruits of his physical prowess on the pitch.
If he scores 20 goals a season for two years that is 40 goals at a total cost of £76.4m or £1.9m per goal. Will he score that many? Will he survive two full seasons in the Premiership? It is much faster and more physical than any league he has played in and from what I have seen of him on television, he is saving his energy and not running around as much as he once did. He is a bit more energetic than Ya Ya Toure but still not as effective as he once was.
PHYSICAL PRESENCE AND FLAIR.
He still has a presence and he is no lightweight. He still controls and holds the ball well and he leads the line well. Andrea has used Giroud as a comparison and although he does not have Zlatan`s presence and does not scare defences as much, if he scores 14 goals a season they will have cost us around £16m plus £6.4m agents fees £22.4m (£.8m) per goal. He will still have a residual value which would reduce the cost per goal even further.
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Can we change our style of play to ensure that we get full value for our money? No doubt there will be an instant improvement in the changing room but will it all be good? He will be the Alpha Male and he will expect to be treated as such. I have already heard stories that he is a bit of a Diva. What happens at the end of his time with us? Will we have to change our style once again to accommodate an entirely different style of play? Will we have an Alpha Male to replace him? Once again we shall have to introduce an entirely different philosophy to our play and other players may be annoyed at being treated differently to him. I doubt that his usefulness will endure beyond age 36. He is not a Pirlo. A lot of his game depends on his physicality and I cannot see him going unscathed for two years in the Premiership so all things considered, I think that we need a longer lasting solution to our problems and the huge sums of money involved would be better spent on younger players. I have no suggestions as to who they might be. That is better left to a new manager which is where the real solution lies.