Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the only man capable of saving Manchester United’s season, says Clayton Blackmore, with the Red Devils urged to look into re-signing the enigmatic Swede.
The mercurial frontman spent one memorable season at Old Trafford in 2016-17, as a side then working under the guidance of Jose Mourinho collected three pieces of silverware.
Ibrahimovic recorded 28 goals in all competitions before an untimely injury brought his campaign to an abrupt halt and prevented him from making a similar impact in the following campaign – after being handed another short-term deal.
He departed Manchester for America in March 2018 and has starred in MLS despite now being 38 years of age.
Former United defender Blackmore believes Ibrahimovic is still capable of doing a job in the Premier League and has reiterated his call for the Red Devils to explore the possibility of bringing in a proven striker amid their struggles for consistency and attacking spark.
He said in The Mirror: “We’re lacking a target man and the only thing that is going to save us this season is Ibrahimovic.
“He has thrown his name in the hat and he’s probably the best target man you can have.
“He’s 6ft 5in, he’s a black belt and he fancies his chances against anybody.
“He’s still scoring goals, too. We have got rid of so many good strikers – (Wayne) Rooney went, (Robin) van Persie went, loads of them.
“These players have gone but they haven’t been replaced. Bringing Ibrahimovic in is a no-brainer.
“He doesn’t run, but he doesn’t need to because he is that good.
“There are not many players who can jog around the pitch and control the game, but, when he was here before, we won trophies with him, when he was fit.
“We should try and get him in January or whenever we can because he can lead the line.
“Getting (Robert) Lewandowski would be perfect, too. That’s obviously a big ask, but he’s also the kind of player the club needs. Yes, he’s a bit older, but he’s the kind of player that can help the kids.
“If we played someone up front alongside him, then the goals will come, I’ve no doubt about that.”
United need inspiration from somewhere after collecting only nine points from eight Premier League games so far this season.
Blackmore believes Europa League football is doing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s cause few favours, with an under-fire coach not about to see things get any easier.
“Playing on a Thursday and then on a Sunday is difficult, we’ve seen that before,” added Blackmore.
“Next up is Liverpool at home, then Norwich away after a European game in Belgrade.
“Norwich have already shown what they’re capable of this season. That’s why the Premier League is so hard.
“There are no easy games and, once you get on a bad run, it can be incredibly hard to stop it.”