Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the best strikers in the world. He’s also got an ego the size of a small country, a history of violent assault against his teammates, and a tendency to fall out with and move on from every club he’s ever joined after a few seasons. All of which means it’s probably well past time for him to have tired of life at Paris Saint Germain.
Queue the 33-year-old getting caught on camera this weekend calling France a "shit country" following PSG’s loss to Bordeaux, and a subsequent wave of rumours linking him to every large-ish club under the sun. Or at least every large-ish club in England, perhaps due to the fact that Ibrahimovic has yet to have set up his circus in the Premier League and is running out of time to show what he might do there.
That he's being linked to the Premier League isn’t especially surprising. What is surprising is that if you believe the Metro—and in all honesty you probably shouldn’t given their tabloid status and lack of any particular history of insight into the goings on behind closed doors at Anfield—Liverpool appear to be frontrunners for Ibrahimovic’s services. That it is at the very least an entertaining rumour cannot be overstated.
However, it hardly seems a sensible one. Ibrahimovic is a talented goal scorer, but even ignoring that he’s nearing the end of his career and his history of causing as many problems as he scores goals for every club he stops at, there’s the issue of style of play. At the end of the day, Zlatan Ibrahinmovic is a player who does what Zlatan Ibrahimovic wants to do. And it’s up to everyone else—players and manager alike—to work around him.
He isn’t a player who will press; he isn’t a player who will move to aid a fluid buildup; he isn’t a player known for working hard for the rest of the team. He’s a player who will work hard to get himself into positions to score goals and, if he’s given the ball in those positions, more often than not he’ll score his fair share of goals. Team play, though, often suffers from his presence, and in the end things always seem to go sour.
In the end, then, it’s an entertaining if exceptionally unlikely rumour. An ageing superstar with a laundry list of controversy who can’t be counted on to last for more than a few seasons at any club before falling out and moving on. One of the game’s best strikers but one who would arrive demanding Brendan Rodgers change his entire approach to suit The Zlatan. A player whose wages would dwarf all others at the club.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn’t coming to Liverpool. The Metro can say what it wants, but in the end that's the long and the short of it. And it's probably for the best, too. Even if it might, for a moment, be entertaining to imagine such a scenario.