Why Zlatan Ibrahimovic Might Turn Out To Be a Barcelona Flop

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Why Zlatan Ibrahimovic Might Turn Out To Be a Barcelona Flop
(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

It's too early in the season to judge any player who has moved clubs over the summer, but there are plenty of reasons, in my own mind, why Zlatan Ibrahimovic might fail to live up to expectations at Barcelona.

Ibrahimovic seems more than intent on proving that he is worth the money spent on him. Adding Samuel Eto'o to the deal piles the pressure on Ibra to show that he can offer more to this Barcelona than his Cameroonian predecessor.

Studying Ibrahimovic closely in his first couple of performances, it is clear to see that he has really been trying a bit too hard to justify his price tag. 

But it won't really be all his fault if he fails. The problem will be more of an overlooked detail that Barcelona did not think of when they launched the mega deal to secure the Swede's services.

First of all, Ibrahimovic is not an ordinary number nine striker. He's more of the Thierry Henry-type than a Samuel Eto'o-type of player.

Thus, he did not fit well in Jose Mourinho's 4-3-3 formation at Inter Milan. Mourinho had to shift to a 4-4-2 diamond formation, which paired the Sweden international alongside a top finisher upfront.

With Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry helping to set up the play, Barcelona simply need a finisher. 

On many occasions, Ibrahimovic is spotted outside the box, dropping deep to set up play, which proves this point. What makes him a special footballer is his dribbling, power and pace attributes, while his finishing cannot match the quality of Eto'o's.

Although there is no doubt about his quality, his strengths may not match up with what Barcelona need in a striker.

Another reason is the pressure on the whole Barca team to produce top performances and match last season's achievements.

The pressure will surely be great on Messi, Henry, Xavi and other Barca players. If Ibra doesn't get the chances, he won't score. That is, of course, if they find him in the box!

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