Manchester United confirmed they had terminated Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contract with immediate effect to allow him to move across the pond to join LA Galaxy and the charismatic Swede bid farewell to the Red Devils supporters with a wry Instagram post.
Over the course of two years, the 36-year-old found the back of the net 29 times for the Red Devils, with 28 of those coming in his debut season itself.
Signed on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in 2016, Ibrahimovic quickly established himself as United’s first-choice striker, silencing his critics with his displays on the pitch and going viral on social media with his outlandish post-match comments.
His move to England at the age of 34 had been met with skepticism as most felt he was no longer capable of leading the line for a major club in a league as competitive as the Premier League, but the Swede hit the ground running in the English top-flight and won three trophies in his first season itself.
The Carling Cup, the UEFA Europa League and the FA Community Shield were all scooped up by a Zlatan-powered United in the 2016-17 season but the campaign was marred by a serious knee injury the towering striker suffered in April while playing against Anderlecht in a continental fixture.
An ACL injury takes nine months to a year to fully recover from and while Ibra returned sooner than expected, he was never the same and has struggled for fitness this season, prompting speculation that he was on the verge of leaving United.
When United paid £75 million to acquire Romelu Lukaku in the summer of 2017, it was made abundantly clear that the burly Belgian was the first-choice centre forward.
And with the MLS a haven for world-class players on their last legs, Ibra’s move to LA Galaxy is the ideal choice for a player who’s undoubtedly in the twilight of what has been a glittering career.