What would you say if you were offered the chance to sign Zlatan Ibrahimović?
I would say yes, loud and clear.
He might be old, he might be expensive and he might be full of himself but what a striker the Swede is!
After an enjoyable discussion with Victor (@GunnerVic1946,) another GT contributor on Twitter, during which we were trying to convince each other of the reasons why we should or shouldn’t sign the striker, The Boss asked us to prepare an article out of it and share with you, fellow Gooners.
So, here are my three main reasons why the former PSG man would be the perfect signing for the Arsenal:
GOALS, GOALS, GOALS!
Since Robin van Persie’s little kid inside forced a move to Manchester United, we have not had a striker able to score lots of goals every season: Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott all had their good moments in the past four seasons but none really managed to become the ruthless man who buries chance after chance – while Zlatan Ibrahimović scored 30, 19, 26, 30 and 28 leagues goals at AC Milan and PSG, the lowest tally reached in 24 appearances only.
For those saying that he always faded away when playing the Champions League, he scored 20 goals in 33 European games with PSG, 9 in 16 with AC Milan and 4 in 10 for Barcelona – which is far from being a calamitous return…
How much difference would a man like Zlatan make to our seasons?
How many times would we have drawn a blank during those frustrating, infuriating games where we simply couldn’t score – with Zlatan Ibrahimović leading the line?
He would make a big difference – perhaps THE difference between winning the league and finishing in the top 4.
PHYSICAL PRESENCE AND FLAIR
Olivier Giroud is good at holding the ball but lacks imagination and flair.
Alexis Sanchez is skilled, quick and brave but cannot survive against Premier League standard centre-backs.
What if we had a striker able to combine Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez qualities?
Zlatan Ibrahimović is an old-fashioned centre forward, well equipped to wrestle any defender in the league and more than capable of winning headers and protecting the ball; at the same time, the Swede has the skills, imagination and trickery to create a goal out of nothing.
In one player, we will have our plan A and plan B, making life extremely difficult for opponents to defend against us.
Zlatan might be 34 already but has always been an exceptional athlete and professional, his intelligence will surely allow him to anticipate the move and compensate for the lack of explosiveness.
It’s quite an easy gamble to take, compared to some of those Arsène Wenger took in recent years (Chu-Young Park, anyone?)
FIGHTING SPIRIT, BOLDNESS AND PERSONALITY
It’ safe to say that Zlatan Ibrahimović doesn’t lack self-esteem: the man who speaks of himself using the pronoun “he” oozes confidence and often sounds arrogant in his post-match interviews and public speeches.
And so what?
As full of himself as he can be, the former Barcelona striker is a true professional whose only fault is to think out loud – how harmful could it be?
In a team full of nice guys totally unable to fight back and return some of the s**t they are thrown, someone like Zlatan Ibrahimović could be a real asset to add some grit and guts to our team. Forget the weak Arsenal, with Zlatan in the mix it could be a very different story.
To summarize, missing on the experienced, tough, talented and reliable Zlatan Ibrahimović could be unforgivable, especially if we think of how much of a difference a prolific striker can make. If it’s true that a goal-machine doesn’t mean you’ll automatically win the league, it is also true that no team has ever won the title without a player constantly being among the top goalscorers – with the only exceptions being Manchester United in the early Premier League days and Chelsea during José Mourinho first spell.
The wages may be madness chaps but the fee is ZERO so on a two year contract Arsenal could still be up on then deal relative to buying a £50 Million pound player. We wouldn’t break the wages for one player? Did we not do it for Sol Campbell when we signed him on a free?