Zlatan Hints At One-And-Done LA Galaxy Stint Due To Club’s Struggles

The 36-year-old’s goals just haven’t been enough for a decidedly average MLS side.

It’s easy to imagine that when Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined the LA Galaxy back in March, he saw the distinct similarities between joining the MLS side and his previous move to Manchester United. Just like United’s malaise following the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, the Galaxy were struggling despite its standing as the most decorated club in the history of the league.

At Old Trafford, Zlatan’s immediate success contributed heavily to trophy triumphs in the Community Shield, League Cup and Europa League. If he could help transform the sporting success of United, of course he could do the same in Los Angeles — even with the lasting effects of that devastating knee injury.

But while Ibrahimovic’s goals per game ratio has been even stronger in MLS (he averaged 0.60 goals per game during his first season in England; he’s averaging 0.77 in MLS), the results on the pitch have been the exact opposite.

The Galaxy were once looking like a playoff lock, but a seven-game winless streak (including a defeat and a draw with lowly Colorado and a home draw with Minnesota, a team that usually plays dead away from home) has seen LA tumble to eighth place in the Western Conference. That run of form also saw head coach Sigi Schmid step down as manager and replaced by Dominic Kenner.  

The Galaxy are now six points behind Seattle in the playoff race with only five games remaining, and the Galaxy will actually host the Sounders tomorrow in what amounts to a must-win match for the club.

And regardless of more Ibrahimovic heroics tomorrow, we can safely say — with the sample size of 29 games behind us — one thing: The Galaxy just aren’t any good, and it’s becoming apparent that Ibrahimovic doesn’t want to end his career (one that’s been heralded for his ability to win titles everywhere) as a serial loser.

Ibrahimovic is signed under contract through the 2019 season, but his return to the club, according to the man himself, is no sure thing.

“I don’t know. This I have to discuss,” he said. “This is not the moment to talk about that. It’s something I’ll discuss with the club. What they want, what I want. So let’s see.

“I have five games [left]. I’m happy. Physically I feel strong, I feel good. I’m producing. So I just need to win games and then everything is perfect. It’s a different challenge. The team I played for [before], I had that feeling like we were unbeatable. Nobody can destroy us. We will destroy everybody.”

With the Galaxy obviously needing a roster overhaul (read: Giovani dos Santos), the rumors now say that Zlatan could join another MLS side in the offseason, like New York City FC or LAFC. There’s also the chance that Ibrahimovic could go full circle on his career and join boyhood club Malmo, who won the 2017 Allsvenskan title. 

Having won league titles in the Netherlands (x2), Italy (x4), Spain and France (x4), the soon-to-be 37-year-old is running out of time to add one final trophy to his personal collection.  

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