Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the name that is looked upon as a machine striker all over went to rehabilitation after his dangerous injury in the last season. In the latest transfer window Romelu Lukaku the Belgian striker was transferred to Man United where he has already started shining while Ibra is still not in the squad. Surprisingly the fans voted like this in twitter.
So why were a majority of fans in favour of the new option? Some of it can maybe be put down to the appeal of the new. Fans like new signings because they offer the possibility of a better future. But is there something more to that?
While Ibrahimovic had scored more than his fair share of goals, the United team Jose Mourinho had built with him at the tip of it could at best be considered a qualified success.
They had won the EFL Cup by this point and went on to add the UEFA Europa League title, earning them a place in next season’s Champions League, but their league campaign was, in essence, a disaster. There were some promising moments, but the team was unable to maintain consistency. How much of that was down to Ibrahimovic is unclear, but there was clearly an issue that needed resolving. Lukaku managed 25 in 37 games for Everton and is confident about filling the striker role at Old Trafford, but says he will do it in his own way.
“He did a wonderful job for the club,” he told ESPN.
The question of the Swede’s plethora of big misses has been discussed a good deal. Opta measures a “big chances missed” statistic and the former Barcelona man topped the list in the Premier League last season, per the division’s official website. That metric is actually not a simple one to analyze, though. While it is obviously the case that missing a lot of big chances is a bad thing, one of a striker’s main jobs is to get into a position where the creative players behind him can engineer a big chance in the first place. Ibrahimovic did that part of his job brilliantly, he just lacked a bit of cutting edge.
Lukaku is almost the precise opposite. His greatest strength last season was the quality of his finishing, which was clinical. The day after the above poll was taken, Squawka tweeted out his remarkable statistics. Indeed, a 33 per cent chance-conversion rate is so good it is likely unsustainable, but it is clear that taking his chances is not a problem for the former Everton man. Manchester United can possibly be taking chances like- For example, if Lukaku scores 25 goals in all competitions, he will obviously have scored fewer than Ibrahimovic. However, if United finish, say, second in the league and make a decent run in the Champions League—with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford chipping in with more goals in a more fluid, functional attack—then the Belgian’s arrival can be considered to have improved the team.
Ibrahimovic completely dominated United’s attack. His physical presence and aura seemed to imbue an unconscious instinct in his team-mates to look for him over and over again. And because his movement—while displaying a sublime intelligence—hardly dragged defenses out of shape, there was no vacuum of space created by his presence that United’s other attackers could exploit.
Ibrahimovic was a beast who could conquer every hurdles with his rage with his determination of success. A king at even 35, Ibrahimovic is a complete striker. But can Lukaku compare to that? The fans might have been cheering for the new signing since Lukaku is one of the best finishers at the time. The football world has seen a great deal of respect since Lukaku took Ibra’s permission before taking over the No. 9 shirt. He has promised to be the one for the special one. Already started to demolish the season against LA Galaxy, Lukaku is seen forward to be the best replacement Man United can bear over Ibrahimovic.