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Ibrahimovic move drastically improves Man United’s 17/18 aspirations

Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United celebrates as he scores their second goal during The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United at Ewood Park on February 19, 2017 in Blackburn, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

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Once the rumors of Zlatan Ibrahimovic coming to MLS were all but dead, it almost became a certainty that the former Sweden international would re-join the Manchester side where he spent the 2016/17 season.

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That became a reality on Thursday when Manchester United announced the big move to reacquire Ibrahimovic, who is currently rehabilitating his knee following last season’s devastating injury that ruled him out for the final month of the domestic and Europa League campaigns.

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Since April though, United has made some significant upgrades, particularly at the striker position.

That’s not to say that Ibra is anything shy of a marvel when healthy, but by adding a 24-year-old Romelu Lukaku into the fold, manager Jose Mourinho and the Red Devils now have serious firepower up top.

There is no timetable as to when the 35-year-old will return to the pitch, but with Ibrahimovic likely ruled out until at least January, United has itself in a very strong position to not only cope with its domestic competition but also help aspire to reaching Champions League glory come the latter half of the season.

Last season, Lukaku and Ibrahimovic scored a combined 42 goals in the Premier League during the 16/17 season. Only Harry Kane and Dele Alli of Tottenham combined for more goals during that span (47).

Although it may be difficult to get both players on the pitch at the same time given United’s designed attack and Lukaku and Ibra’s style of play, Mourinho has at his disposal the ability to rotate the two talents.

That simply isn’t something most other clubs have the luxury of doing, especially when it comes down to balancing the PL, FA Cup, Champions League and other competitions over the second-half of the season.

Another benefit for United is that Zlatan is already very familiar with the system implemented by the Portuguese boss, and it’s one where he thrived in a season ago.