The Ibra Factor

When Milan’s mentality collapsed like a paper airplane under a car tire under Giampaolo’s three month tenure at Milan, everyone in management conceded that there was a need for at least one or two more experienced players, players that could make the difference and help the younger players keep their heads up under pressure. Since Zlatan Ibrahimovic left, he has been linked with a return to Milan. But the question is, can he, or another player like him, really make the difference this team needs to make it back to winning ways?

He is a god to the fans of Milan

Ibra has never made it a secret how much he and his family loved AC Milan and the city of Milano, and him being out of contract just fuels speculation that much more. Then the other day in an interview, he said, “I will join a club that must get back to winning and renew its history. I’ll see you in Italy soon.” While he is also linked to clubs like Bologna and Napoli, to which that statement could also apply, his words certainly caused a stir amongst Milan fans as well.

There is always a chance that he or someone like him could come to Milan to give a hand, and be injured or play poorly. Who could forget David Beckham’s loan spell to Milan which saw him injured just a couple of months in and took him out not only of Milan competitions, but also what would have been his last World Cup. Ibra specifically would need to overcome the Milan curse of players who are successful, then come back to Milan and are not, such as Sheva and Kaká.

Never look back

There is also the question of why everyone is putting their hopes on a single player. While Ibra is not and has never been just any player, we cannot forget to support the manager and the rest of the squad. Given all of the hysteria surrounding Milan of late, it would be terrible if everyone were to put all of their faith in him. Then if something disastrous happened, the rancor starts back up again, blaming everyone else if it doesn’t work out.

Obviously as a marketing move alone, Ibra to Milan makes sense. And it would be some interesting closure for the seven and a half year period in between his last appearance for Milan. Having been pushed out of Milan for money reasons, and watching Milan’s downward spiral since then, signing him would bring some healing to Milan fans and an indication that management really do want to make things right again.

He could carry the team on his back literally and metaphorically. But can he still?

Speaking of management, there were rumors that Ibra had been linked to a return this past January, but Gazidis had vetoed the move. Whether or not that was true, after Giampaolo was sacked, Gazidis conceded that we needed to bring in more experience. This was a divergence from the previous plan of a very young, talented squad of players who would work for low wages. We all know that if Ibra comes to Milan, it won’t be cheap. However, if management are able to successfully negotiate with Mino Raiola for Ibra, it also gives hope for their negotiations of contract renewals with Gianluigi Donnarumma, Romagnoli, and Bonaventura.

Ibra returning to Milan would heal a lot of wounds and bring a lot of hope back to Milan. He would also bring a lot of fans back. He would be a risk, and an expensive one at that. But bringing in a player like him would be a mental gamechanger. Bringing Ibra himself in would be a complete gamechanger, on and off the pitch. Never underestimate the Ibra factor.

This post inspired by Elias featuring Frans’ “Who’s Da Man”

Our next match is
Serie A Week 15
Bologna vs. Milan
Sunday, December 8 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)

The Ibra Factor The Ibra Factor Reviewed by Elaine on 12:22 AM Rating: 5
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