It wasn’t a great secret Zlatan Ibrahimovic was moving to the MLS and the LA Galaxy, but he announced it in assertive fashion.
On Thursday, reports surfaced that Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be leaving Manchester United for a two-year deal in the MLS with the LA Galaxy. The EPL club later confirmed they have agreed to immediately terminate the Swedish striker’s contract, set to expire in June, which paved the way for the move outside the transfer window.
Ibrahimovic arrived with Manchester United in July of 2016, after some talk of coming to MLS, and went on to score 28 goals in his debut season as United won the Europa League title. He has been limited to just seven games during the 2017-18 season by a knee injury, with none since Dec. 26.
The 36-year old is being brought stateside via Targeted Allocation Money, which allows the Galaxy to exceed the MLS roster limit of three Designated Players. According to Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated, the $1.5 million per year to Zlatan is the maximum allowed using TAM dollars.
Zlatan is known for his ego and brashness. So it’s not surprising he announced his looming arrival in Los Angeles in brief, but not subtle, fashion.
Zlatan simply told Los Angeles and Galaxy fans “you’re welcome”, via a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times.
Ibrahimovic’s knee issue and age make when he’ll make his debut for the Galaxy an immediate question. But Wahl suggests he could play on March 31, against intracity rival Los Angeles FC and set to air nationally on FOX.
The pomp and circumstance surrounding David Beckham’s arrival with the L.A. Galaxy in 2007 has not been forgotten, and it was a huge story even to non-hardcore soccer fans. Things did not quite go as planned on the pitch though, with Beckham “bending it” for 18 goals in 98 appearances for the Galaxy over his five-year deal. For comparison sake to Zlatan, Beckham was 32 when he signed with the Galaxy and 37 when his deal was done.
Another round of notoriety and star power is coming to the Galaxy now, with Ibrahimovic at an advanced age with an injury that has sidelined him since before the first of the year. Time will tell if he can get healthy, stay healthy and deliver on the anticipation over the next couple seasons.