Manchester City Transfers: Zlatan Ibrahimovic Would Make Blues European Kings

Peter Webster@@petercwebsterContributor IIIJune 18, 2012

KIEV, UKRAINE - JUNE 15:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden with the ball during the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match between Sweden and England at The Olympic Stadium on June 15, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester City's 2011/12 Champions League campaign was dismal.

Having been put in a tough group alongside the likes of Napoli, Villarreal and Bayern Munich, Manchester City mustered three wins, a draw and two defeats, which left them third in the table and devoid of promotion to the knockout stages.

So what went wrong?

Manchester City's Premier League campaign was the stuff of legend—capturing the title with two injury-time goals on the last game of the season—so they clearly had the talent within the squad to serve much better than they did in Europe.

Unfortunately for Roberto Mancini's men, the problem lies in their hugely talented forward line.

Sergio Aguero has been a revelation in his first season—scoring 23 goals in 34 league games—but he has been let down by his partners up front in Edin Dzeko, Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli.

For all of Dzeko's willingness to run and get into good scoring positions, he isn't consistent enough when it comes to scoring goals.

Mario Balotelli, on the other hand, is just a total enigma—so much so that you never know whether he will score a hat trick or throw darts at the youth-team members.

Carlos Tevez, of course, went AWOL for much of the season.

That combination ensured that Aguero shouldered far too much of the goal-scoring burden in the Champions League, resulting in Manchester City scoring a modest nine goals. Notably, City also lost two of their three games when on the road.

So back to the issue at hand: aiding Sergio Aguero in attack.

A combination striker would be ideal for City. Someone with the height and aerial threat of Dzeko, the unpredictability (on the pitch) of Balotelli and the tenacity and strength of Tevez. All of that coupled together with Champions League experience offers up the name of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Funnily enough, Manchester City have been linked with Ibrahimovic over recent weeks, and the Swedish striker's superb performance against England in Euro 2012 will only serve to heighten interest.

Roberto Mancini has dealt with the most troublesome issues that a manager could deal with when it comes to players acting unprofessionally, so Zlatan's reputation should harbour no fears for the Italian.

Ibrahimovic has scored goals with whichever club he has played for, and managed five goals and four assists in just an eight-game spell for AC Milan in the Champions League last season—all valid arguments for making the Swede Manchester City's priority No. 1 this summer.

At 30 years of age, Ibrahimovic isn't the youngest striker around, but with age comes experience, plus the forward has never relied on pace in his game—something which should improve his footballing longevity.

Money is certainly no object for Manchester City, particularly if Mancini get's rid of some of the club's dead weight. Roque Santa Cruz, Emmanuel Adebayor, Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez could all be surplus to requirements, according to the MailOnline, so raising funds for Ibrahimovic should be a formality.

It seems the only thing left to do for Roberto Mancini is to take a chance, although Ibrahimovic's record suggests there is little gamble when it comes to pedigree.

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