After the club announced that Zlatan Ibrahimovic departed the club in a mutual agreement with the board, Manchester United fans quickly started wondering who could replace the iconic striker at Old Trafford. Will the club sign a new forward or can someone in the current squad stand in for the great Zlatan?
What follows are the most suitable players that could replicate the effect of Zlatan Ibrahimovic at United.
The first name that comes to mind is Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean international who joined the club this winter, but so far failed to live up to expectations.
Sanchez has mainly played – and disappointed – on the wings or behind Lukaku, but he could get a more central role next season, especially if Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford continue their fantastic runs of form.
Due to their past experiences with Angel Di Maria, the Red Devils will probably look to avoid the same situation with Sanchez and we can easily see the 29-year-old Chilean moved forward next year.
It’s fair to say Marcus Rashford has had yet another impressive season in which he improved beyond all expectations. The young forward has already registered 12 goals and 9 assists this season, even though he mainly played on the wings.
However, it seems he is more suited to a central role in the attack and there’s no doubt he would already be playing there, were it not for Romelu Lukaku and his fantastic performances.
Next year, Mourinho might opt to play two strikers, which could turn out to be the start of a wonderful partnership between Rashford and Lukaku.
It’s no secret Real Madrid are looking to offload Gareth Bale in the summer and there seem to be few clubs in the world beside Manchester United that could afford the Welsh star.
Although primarily a winger, Bale has proven he’s just as capable playing in the central forward role at Real Madrid.
However, his signing would require an extremely large transfer bid and Mourinho might focus his budget on other, more urgent squad reinforcements.
We’re not certain why, but rumors of Lewandowski leaving Bayern Munich seem to have intensified in recent weeks and the Red Devils might finally come back for him, having failed to sign him when Louis van Gaal was in charge at Old Trafford.
The Polish forward might be the most complete center forward in the world at the moment and there is no doubt he would be an immense signing, but similar to Bale, United would have to offer a large transfer sum.
Transfer rumors have long been linking Paolo Dybala with a move to Old Trafford and we could easily see the diminutive Argentinian finally making a switch to the Premier League in the summer.
Dybala is by no means a like-for-like replacement for Zlatan and he would probably play in the role just behind Lukaku, but he could still bring plenty of goals and assists to this Manchester United team.
What do you think? Who could – and should – replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Manchester United?