COMETH the hour, cometh the main man. Zlatan Ibrahimovic showed why Manchester United MUST present him with a new deal when talks commence next week.
He has become the talisman of the side, just like Eric Cantona back in the day, and he took his goal tally for the season to 23 with a hat-trick last night.
We know United are looking at different attacking options when the transfer window re-opens but is there anyone better than the big fella?
Even though he’s in his mid-30s, Zlatan is still the real deal and has got to be worth another year…at least.
He is the lynch pin; the focal point of almost every United attack and Jose Mourinho, I’m sure, would love to keep him. If only for another year. Makes sense.
Ibrahimovic’s deflected free kick wrong-footed Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier and trickled over the line for the opener, and he tapped home from close range after good work from Marcus Rashford, as well as adding a late penalty. Job done.
The 35-year-old former Juventus, Barcelona and AC Milan man has now netted 17 career hat-tricks. His first for United; his third against Saint-Etienne.
Little wonder he loves playing against the French side who must be sick of the sight of the Swedish superstar who has now scored 17 times against them. Must be something about the number 17.
Although United are lagging in the race for the Premier League title, Ibrahimovic is aiming high. As quoted on the BBC Sport website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38962487 – Zlatan said “This is the decisive moment for the season. We are still in all four competitions. The fifth we already won, the Community Shield.”
Like Ibrahimovic, United have never won the Europa League, but the 3-0 win keeps alive their hopes of a cup treble this season. They face Blackburn in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday and Southampton in the EFL Cup final the following week.