Like anything in his career, Zlatan Ibrahimović generates anticipation, excitement, and anticipation with what is next for him, and it was no different on his return to Milan.
Admittedly, given he is now 38 and was plying his trade in MLS for the previous two seasons, there were doubts over how much he could offer at this stage of his playing career.
With his experience and character, there was little doubt he could have a positive effect on what’s a youthful Milan squad, but in terms of his influence on the pitch, could he be capable of becoming a major figure for us once more, eight years after departing?
The solution is beginning to become clearer after only a match and a little, and you will find stand-out positive signs as far as Milan fans are worried about what we have seen from the Swede thus far.
With his experience beneath the bright lights of Los Angeles over, a return to Europe to possibly close out his career coupled with speculation he could make between $3m-$5m annually over the course of his bargain, according to MilanNews.it, you would be forgiven for thinking he might just need a comfy run before retirement.
This is another Ibrahimovic in certain ways, as he is showing leadership in advising a number of the younger players such as Rafael Leao while demonstrating a lot of patience in dealing with some of the mediocre play around him from less gifted players in contrast to people who surrounded him last time he had been a Milan player.
Despite all those challenges and motives to be content with the last spell in Italy before hanging up his boots, it seems like he is here to prove a point and make critical effects.
Again, not to harp on about his age, the harm that he suffered at Man Utd and the period playing in MLS, but it was possibly questionable as to if Ibrahimovic would be great enough to still be powerful.
From his motion in the box to find space to the superb finish from a tricky angle and with lots to do from the cross, the quality is still there.
Add the capability to fall deep and orchestrate items in the last third and his bodily presence in the box and linking play up, this is not prime Ibrahimovic but it’s definitely still a leading version of him.
Despite his lack of playing time during the past month or two, he was able to get 96 minutes under his belt in Sardinia and did not really look like he was fighting towards the end. As he gets his match fitness up to where it ought to be and feels more powerful and sharper with more playing time, Ibrahimovic will understand himself that he will have the ability to supply more if he can stay healthy.
Having said that, he has already made his mark, and if he can stay healthy, he will surely just improve as the games come and that is a promising idea for Milan fans.