With both Chelsea and Manchester City in the hunt for one of the World’s two most high-profile strikers, it begs the question which of the duo represents the better investment in this intriguing tug-of-war?
You might think it is a somewhat foolish exercise to compare Zlatan Ibrahimovic with Fernando Torres without the benefit of seeing their performances on the international stage in South Africa, and you’re probably right, but here goes anyway.
Both sets of fans would probably initially say Torres. He is two years younger than Ibrahimovic and has a proven goalscoring record in the Premiership. The turmoil at Anfield has made his departure a seemingly foregone conclusion and either club would welcome the addition of the leading contender for this summer’s golden boot.
The flip side of it is that Torres would almost certainly be more expensive than Ibrahimovic and the prospect of handing Liverpool anything up to £75m for the Spaniard’s services seems somewhat less appealing to vindictive City and Chelsea fans that would rather see the club sink in its sea of debt.
On the other hand, we have the prospect of Barcelona’s frontman who rather disconcertingly for the two English clubs has been labelled a flop after experiencing a poor season in La Liga and spent much of it confined to the bench. These claims I feel are vastly exaggerated as a return of 21 goals in 41 games cannot be considered a failure by any measure and it is conceivable that he just suffering from the stifling effect of over expectation at Nou Camp.
Mancini for one will need little reminding of the skilful Swede’s true talents with memories of Ibrahimovic’s 66 goals in 116 appearances for Inter still fresh in the memory. It was with the Italians, then managed by Mancini, where the striker made his name and earned his £45m transfer to Barca almost exactly a year ago.
He is no longer in Barca’s plans following the acquisition of David Villa and his former boss looks favourite to sign him. Arsenal, Manchester United AC Milan are also said to be interested but are balking at his £125,000 a week salary demands and £40m price tag.
Torres may look like the immediate choice to many of you out there and his goalscoring record with Liverpool and Spain are difficult to argue with but, Ibrahimovic I suspect is just at the wrong club. It is difficult to demonstrate technique, style or physical presence from the bench and if he can replicate his devastatingly good form in front goal for either Manchester City or Chelsea next season, he will be a real force to be reckoned with in the Premiership.
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