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Zlatan’s massive sacrifice to rejoin United

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ZLATAN Ibrahimovic is back with Manchester United.

The 35-year-old Swedish striker has rejoined the Red Devils by signing a one-year deal after his 2016-17 campaign was cut short by a serious knee injury.

According to The Mirror, United offered Ibrahimovic a new deal now to avoid the forward accepting a mega-money offer from Europe or Major League Soccer.

Football: Zlatan Ibrahimovic has rejoined Manchester United on a one year contract

Ibrahimovic rejoins Man U

However, it seems Ibrahimovic isn’t back at Old Trafford just for the money.

The Swede emphasised he’s “back to finish what I started”, and has reportedly taken a massive fifty per cent pay cut to continue his Manchester United journey.

Ibrahimovic earned £367,000-a-week wages ($595,000) last season, but now he will make £180,000-a-week, according to The Sun.

However, the forward could earn more bonuses this campaign like last season.

Ibrahimovic’s £19.11m earnings for last season was boosted by an additional £2.86m after scoring 28 goals.

The Sun reported that the Swede is targeting a return to action in October, and Ibrahimovic is excited to get back on the field.

After signing, he said: “I am back to finish what I started. It was always mine and the club’s intention for me to stay.

“I cannot wait to get back out on that Old Trafford pitch, but I also know that I have to take my time to make sure that I am ready.

“I have been working hard and will continue to do so to make sure I am in the best possible condition for my return to the pitch.”

Ibrahimovic won the Community Shield, League Cup and Europa League with United, but Arsenal legend Thierry Henry believes he’s re-signed in his bid to win the Premier League.

“They kept Zlatan, but I think Zlatan takes it as a challenge that he has with himself. I think he wants to do more, and he still didn’t win the league,” said Henry, according to Sky.

Manchester United’s English striker Marcus Rashford (C) celebrates a goal with Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R).

“I know that he wants to win the Premier League, to make England another country that he conquered.”

“I’m not surprised, because if I was there [at Man Utd] I would want to keep a guy like Zlatan in and around the dressing room.

“Having him around (Romelu) Lukaku, having him around Marcus Rashford [is beneficial]. Rashford was talking about it last year, he knows how to get that dressing room together.

“I’m not surprised in a way because we are talking about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one of the best that has done it in the game, for me.”

However, football expert Paul Merson believes the Red Devils would be better off without the Swede, as he slowed down United’s play in the final third last season.

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Merson said on The Debate: “This man is a legend, I don’t use that word loosely, he’s an absolute legend, he’s won titles in seven different countries, you don’t do that by luck. But as time moves on now, Manchester United are a better team without him in it, and they’ve got a better chance of winning the Premier League without him.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m a massive fan of this lad over the years, I think he’s been phenomenal.

“People said he was great last year, scored 28 goals, but Manchester United never looked like winning the Premier League last year.

“You look at them now, with him out of the team, you’ve got Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford going forward, you’ve got Henrikh Mkhitaryan putting balls through the eye of a needle. They’re playing 100mph, and so far nobody can live with them.

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba on ground, celebrates scoring his side’s third goal with team-mate Romelu Lukaku.

“That wasn’t them last season, they were too slow. Le Tiss and I have played No 10, and you need pace upfront [in front of you], and if you haven’t got pace, it’s pointless playing a No 10, because there’s not a lot you can do.”

Lukaku has made a superb start to his United career, and Merson believes Ibrahimovic’s arrival could cause the Belgian to “go into his shell” if he dips in form and is replaced by the Swede.

Merson said: “Lukaku is top man now, you can see it on the pitch. That’s going to change! He’s got a big presence, Ibrahimovic, and he hasn’t gone to United to sit on the bench.”

“If Lukaku goes a couple games without scoring, the fans will be cheering Zlatan’s name, and Lukaku could go into his shell, and we saw that last season in big football matches for Everton, he went into his shell.

Romelu Lukaku.

“I don’t think he’s gone there to fizzle out and finish his career. When you watch them at the moment, United are a completely different side to last season. They break with real pace.

“Last season Zlatan was good, but nobody else was. That doesn’t win you the Premier League, everybody has to be good. I just think he slowed the game down last season.”

However, Ibrahimovic is still recovering from the knee injury which cut short his season in April.

Henry has no doubt the forward will thrive at United once again.

“First and foremost he already showed us that he can still perform,” Henry said.

Ibrahimovic reacts after injuring his knee.

“Yes, there may be a question mark with some people asking if he will return to what he was [before the injury], I have no doubt that he will.

“I know the man, and I know how he is going to work. He showed us with a couple of moves on social media, that his knee is alright. So I have no doubt with that.

“But what is important is to have a guy like that around the place. He knows what it takes to win.”

Originally published as Zlatan’s massive sacrifice to rejoin United

Source: sports dailytelegraph

About Eric Tranter

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