Monday, 7 November 2016

Quinn: Ibrahimovic should have looked for a gentler pasture

Quinn: Ibrahimovic should have looked for a gentler pasture
The former Premier League striker believes the Swede is past his best and may not be cut out for the rigours of English football at 35 years of age
Former Sunderland striker Niall Quinn has suggested that Zlatan Ibrahimovic should have headed for a ‘gentler pasture’ than the Premier League over the summer.
Manchester United won the race for the Swedish striker after his contract at Paris Saint-Germain came to an end, with the presence of Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford working in their favour.
A productive opening to Ibrahimovic’s career in England boded well, with a winning goal in the Community Shield followed by four in as many top-flight fixtures.
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There have, however, been only four more since then, with a brace in Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Swansea City ending a six-match scoreless run for the 35-year-old.
Quinn believes the once fearsome frontman has lost some of his spark, with English football providing a tough test for a player no longer at his peak.

He wrote in his Sky Sports column: “Even taking into account that the win was United's best performance outside of England this year, the jury must still be out on [Paul] Pogba and Zlatan.
“United look like a troubled club and at the moment the guys picking up the heaviest wage packets every month have not been performing on match days.
“There are various reasons. Maybe at 35 Zlatan should have looked for a gentler pasture in which he could transition into retirement. He has been playing professional football in top divisions since 1999. That's a lot of mileage. He still works hard. However, fewer things come off for him.
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“He scored 113 goals in 122 games in France. His patchy form at United compared to Mario Balotelli's exciting form at Nice these days tells us a lot about the difference between playing in France and playing in England.”
Having retired from international football on the back of Sweden’s exit at Euro 2016, Ibrahimovic will now be given a break in which to recharge his batteries.
United are not in action again until November 19, but they do return to domestic duty with a bang as they welcome Arsene Wenger and old adversaries Arsenal to Old Trafford.
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