Former Manchester United midfielder Jesper Blomqvist has claimed that Zlatan Ibrahimović’s departure from the club did not come as a surprise to him.
Ibrahimović had an impressive debut season at Old Trafford, scoring 28 goals in all competitions for José Mourinho’s side, but seriously injured his cruciate ligament in the Europa League quarter-final against RSC Anderlecht in April.
Ibrahimović departure no surprise to Blomqvist
That blow ruled the Swede out for the remainder of the campaign and beyond, with no specific timeline set for his return to action, and his compatriot Blomqvist felt the injury was a key factor in United’s decision not to offer the 35-year-old a new contract.
The 43-year-old said he was “not so surprised” that the club opted against extending the player’s stay at Old Trafford, explaining that “it was a bad injury and it’s going to take a long time to recover.”
Ibrahimović was not included on United’s retained list last month and the former PSG man seemed to rule out any possibility of playing for the Red Devils again on Friday with a defiant Instagram post.
Blomqvist conceded that it was “a tough call” to let the experienced forward go but added that “it’s going to take a while before he can get better.”
European Champion Swedes
Ibrahimović was at least able to cap off his time at United by earning a Europa League winners’ medal at the end of May as Mourinho’s men defeated Ajax 2-0 with their star striker sidelined.
Blomqvist was also a European champion with the Red Devils, starting in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in United’s treble winning season of 1999 with Paul Scholes and Roy Keane both suspended in central midfield.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side famously won 2-1 that night and Blomqvist returned to the venue of the triumph on Friday evening with a United’s legends team, who faced Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
The Swede had a mixed evening – opening the scoring for the Red Devils but he was also the man on the receiving end of some sensational showboating by Brazilian icon, Ronaldinho.