Another day, another match-winning display from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Our no.9 was instrumental in helping United lift the EFL Cup, scoring two vital goals with precision and power.
One cannot help but ask whether Zlatan is in fact the greatest free transfer of all time. He’s made a total of 37 club appearances so far, scoring 26 goals – this from a 35-year-old that many felt would not be able to do it in the Premier League. How wrong they were; it just goes to prove how Jose can get the very best out of players.
If I was voting today for footballer of the year, my vote would have to go to Ibra. Yes, I accept Hazard, Kante, Kane and Sanchez have all been brilliant, to name a few, but considering Ibra’s age, having never played in England before and being written off by so many, he surely has to be a serious contender.
But is the best free transfer of all time? On reflection, he might just miss out on that title as things stand. Here are my top 3:
In 3rd place is Ruud Gullit, who went to Chelsea, and although in the twilight of his career, was still a fantastic player for them and a joy to watch for the Chelsea fans and the neutrals alike.
In 2nd place I have to go with Ibra for all the reasons stated above. If he stays at United for another season and makes anywhere near this level of contribution, that might need to be re-assessed, but for now, that’s where he stands.
In 1st place – it kills me to write it – but it has to be Sol Campbell from Spurs to Arsenal. In his first season, he won a double, he played and scored for them in a Champions League final, and was of course part of the Invincibles.
So whilst Ibra has been absolutely sensational for us, I have to give the award of the best ever free to Sol Campbell.