Cantona 2.0: Ex-Man Utd man says superstar's return would lift the club massively - opinion

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…

Speaking to Love Sport Radio, former Manchester United man Sammy McIlroy has insisted Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival at Old Trafford would have a similar effect to when the club signed Eric Cantona.

What did he say?

The Red Devils have come under intense criticism for their decision to let go of both Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez in the summer, without signing a replacement. Their lack of goals has come to the forefront, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side finding the back of the net just ten times from their opening nine Premier League games.

The indoor football skills in the video below have to be seen to be believed…

Now, McIlroy has claimed a swoop for Ibrahimovic would give the entire club a massive lift and give them a bona-fide goal-scorer and talisman.

He said: “I think everyone knows that we’re lacking a goalscorer. You can’t depend on Martial and Rashford to get you twenty odd goals a season. We need an experienced striker. The big Ibra in America, if we could get him back just until the end of the season, I’m sure he’d give the whole club a lift.

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“He’d bring the young lads on, improve the atmosphere too. I’m not saying long term – nowhere near long term. But maybe we could have a sort of Cantona situation, where he came in and lifted the club. Ibrahimovic may be 38 years of age but he’s fit as a fiddle, and I’ve seen some of the goals He’s scored out there in MLS. They’re incredible!”


Make no mistake about it, United’s goal-shy nature in front of goal cannot be allowed to continue for any longer than what is absolutely necessary. And that means addressing the issue immediately when the January transfer window opens up at the turn of the new year.

As McIlroy alludes to, Ibrahimovic’s return would help galvanise the club from this period of disappointment and act as a massive boost to the players and the fans alike. As a stop-gap option, it makes complete sense as the Swede already knows the club from his previous spell at Old Trafford, and would be able to offer some much-needed guidance to the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood. A completely fool-proof move.

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