Okay, let’s say you are a team that hopes to win the UEFA Europa League and also compete in the upper reaches of the English Premier League. You need a striker, and there’s one available for free who has a destroyed knee and is closer to 40 than 30. Hard pass, right?
But in this case, the player in question is a downright mythical figure. A player who’s abilities on the pitch are only exceeded by his own self belief and determination, a legend in his own mind years before he became a legend in everyone else’s: Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Ibra needs a home for next season. After a strong year for Manchester United which unfortunately ended with a horrific knee injury, Zlatan is out of a contract. Indications seem to be that he wants a team in Europe but given his lofty standards it probably needs to be a team with a chance to win something.
Enter Everton. As things stand right now, Everton is borderline good enough to win the Europa League and a target man up top would go a long way to getting them off that border and into full fledged contender status.
But that knee... unfortunately, Zlatan has a knee injury that probably keeps him out until January. Even if we assume (as we probably should) that by February or March he will be rolling at his usual slow but unstoppable anyway pace by that point, you can’t really wait well over half the season to get your main option at striker healthy.
Which would make the natural option to sign another starter now and then try to incorporate Zlatan later. But I have to ask, does Zlatan in a competition for a starting job seem morally wrong to anyone else? He is just not that guy. He was at FC Barcelona and left largely because not being the undisputed first choice 9 just was not what he was about. I certainly don’t think he’s going to come to Everton a year after being the main man at Manchester United and be fine with coming off the bench.
Zlatan in blue would be fun, but practically speaking it’s just an ill fit. Here’s hoping he goes to MLS so that we don’t have to pay for not signing him by having to face him.