Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still proving a valuable addition to Milan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, AC Milan (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/GettyImages)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, AC Milan (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/GettyImages) /
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, AC Milan (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/GettyImages) /

Zlatan Ibrahimovic came from Los Angeles, back to Milan, during the recent winter window; what a difference he has made.

His passion invigorated the whole team; it became clear very quickly that somehow, this was still the Milan of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Then an apparent knee injury looked to spell an unfortunate and painful end to a wonderful career at major clubs across the world.

But it wasn’t; Zlatan recovered, and better still, his form improved as he acclimated back to Serie A, back to the Italian style. Alongside this innovation, Milan has since climbed the table as well; the chain reaction of events is exciting for fans of Milan, one cannot doubt.

Despite their position in sixth place currently, there is real optimism surrounding the future of the club. And so, all of the sudden, the discussion has shifted from which small club Zlatan will be playing at in the twilight of his career, to how Milan can build with him potentially still in the fold.

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This is a remarkable turn of events; the recent decision in relation to the future manager for Milan seems a choice that potentially invites the resigning of Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Milan. But what does this mean for AC Milan? For Zlatan? And for the building process in its totality?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Home at Milan, or just about anywhere else

In the career of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he has played across Europe, in nearly every major league of consequence outside of the Bundesliga. To be a legend at so many different clubs is a legacy few athletes can dream of, including the most elite of Basketball and American Football.

So it should surprise few analysts that Zlatan was not going to wind down as predicted; why follow convention, or other peoples predictions? For Zlatan, this has never been his style; for AC Milan, it comes as an unintended jewel of consequence to be sure.

And so, what he provides AC Milan with is beyond measure; for as well as he plays, he is an even better role model for the players at the club. For the young, the old and everyone in between, his virtuoso career teaches actively, not passively.

While the club tries to line up transfers for players like Sandro Tonali or Florentino Luis to help defensively, the expense of a new striker may be eased by the form of the aging Swedish megastar.

Never count Zlatan out

With all of the speculation about the future, with or without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it is long past time to acknowledge that counting him out is base insanity. No matter the origins in Sweden, the move to Ajax, to Paris and so on, to the injury at Manchester United, the time in the MLS and his eventual return to a top club in Europe makes for a truly remarkable story.

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He will play for as long as he wants; he is the truly important word in the sentence to be sure. No one will tell Zlatan when to leave, or what league he is still qualified to influence a team in. And that is good; it is befitting of his stature across the sport and if he so chooses to, AC Milan have made one hell of a signing during the winter window, that’s to be sure.