Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s AC Milan future has been put in doubt by the short time left on his deal, which expires this coming June. Manager Stefano Pioli has spoken about Ibrahimovic’s plans for next season, offering little insight into his Rossoneri stay but suggesting he believes Ibrahimovic wants to continue playing football.
Ibrahimovic has previously expressed a desire to remain in Milan.
Stefano Pioli Speaks: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s AC Milan Future Still Up in the Air
What Pioli Said
As quoted by Fabrizio Romano, Stefano Pioli said: “I feel he wants to continue [to play football next season], this is my expectation.
“It’s only up to Ibrahimović, he will decide – you should ask him.”
The 40-year-old carries the power to decide on his own future and only time will tell whether it is with Milan, though, Pioli clearly believes the striker will continue.
The Future of the Player
Ibrahimovic returned to Milan halfway through the 2019/20 season after a stint with LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer.
His return was fantastic. Ibrahimovic scored 10 goals and provided five assists in 18 league matches – those of which were very spread out due to the COVID-19 postponement. Milan didn’t qualify for the Champions League but were much improved.
Following that, Ibrahimovic scored 15 goals and provided two assists in 19 league matches in 2020/21. He was a major factor in Milan finishing second in Serie A and qualifying for the Champions League.
The goal numbers are good, but it’s clear that the match numbers are low. As age creeps on Ibrahimovic, as do injury concerns.
This season, Ibrahimovic has eight goals and two assists in 15 league matches. Milan has played 26 games, meaning the Swede has missed 11 of them. He’s the team’s starting striker and has played in just over half the matches. Injuries are seriously affecting Ibrahimovic’s match fitness.
With that being said, the Swede is a major on-field presence when he’s healthy. In addition, he’s a leader for this much-improved Milan squad. Milan is in serious contention to win the Scudetto, and Ibrahimovic’s presence both on and off the pitch will be a factor if Milan lift the trophy.
Due to this, his future remains interesting. Fitness will remain a concern, but Ibrahimovic is still a top striker with game-changing dynamics. His love for Milan is very apparent as well, so an additional year of football would most likely be at Milan once again.
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