Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to be released by Manchester United at the end of June, having only signed an initial one year deal with the Red Devils. With an option for a second year not being exercised by United, and Alvaro Morata's signing a great possibility this early in June, we're here to assess Zlatan's impact in the Fantasy Premier League, as it appears the Swede will only feature in a solo Premier League season.
Arriving with fanfare and great expectation from fans and Fantasy Premier League lovers, Ibrahimovic's arrival was a sure fire bet in pre-season for pretty much every FPL commentator. Ultimately Zlatan proved that even though he missed the final seven games of the season, he was a force for Man United in the game. With 163 points he finished well ahead of David de Gea (136pts) and Antonio Valencia (120pts) as United's MVP this season. Below are the stats that back that up.
Zlatan's FPL Statistics
PL Appearances: 28 from 38 (27 starts, 1 sub appearance, 90 minutes played in each of his 27 starts)
Goals: 17 (7th highest)
Assists: 7 (joint 25th overall, joint 3rd highest for Forwards)
Bonus Points: 28 points (8th highest)
Price: £11.5m (started), £11.9m (highest), £11.4m (lowest, and ended with)
Times in Dream Team: 6 (joint 3rd highest)
Penalties missed: 1 (Bournemouth, GW27)
Discipline: 7 yellow cards, 0 red cards (1 retrospective ban)
Points per Match: 5.8 points
Final % Ownership: 22.8%
Overall Points: 163 points
Top 10 FPL Forwards
1) Harry Kane (TOT): 224 points
2) Romelu Lukaku (EVE): 221 points
3) Diego Costa (CHE): 196 points
4) Sergio Aguero (MCI): 175 points
5) Jermain Defoe (SUN): 166 points
6) Zlatan Ibrahimovic (MUN): 163 points
7) Jamie Vardy (LEI): 161 points
8) Fernando Llorente (SWA): 146 points
9) Christian Benteke (CRY): 136 points
10) Alvaro Negredo (MID): 130 points
Why these stats have been highlighted now is simple. With Ibrahimovic not guaranteed another game in the Premier League, unless a rival club snaps him up, then Zlatan's stats and his bio will disappear. On June 9th 2017 the Premier League confirmed its retained list, which is when each of the confirmed 20 clubs have to disclose who they'll be keeping on their books for the upcoming season.
Gameweek's 6-10 were a lull for Zlatan, with a 5 game goalless run against Leicester, Stoke, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Burnley, thinking twice about the fast and furious impact that Ibrahimovic had made to the FPL.
The middle of the season picked up for the coveted forward; between Gameweek's 11 and 21, were Zlatan's best FPL Gameweeks. With 9 returns from 11 matches, Zlatan was sitting pretty at the toip of the Forward's charts, especially after his best points spree of the 2016/17 season.
Zlatan's Best FPL Run
GW16, Crystal Palace (h): 11pts
GW17, West Brom (a): 12pts
GW18, Sunderland (h): 15pts
GW19, Middlesbrough (h): 5pts
GW20, West Ham (a): 8pts
GW21, Liverpool (h): 7pts
Total: 58pts from 6 games
If Zlatan's season started strongly against Bournemouth, it was ultimately the return fixture at Old Trafford during Gameweek 27 on his penultimate home appearance that closed the book on Zlatan's season for most players, even though he managed 19 points in his final 2 fixtures verses Everton and Sunderland. Zlatan missed a penalty and was involved in multiple collisions with Tyrone Mings which saw the Swede retrospectively banned for 3 domestic appearances. 137,317 transfers out followed Zlatan's worst Gameweek (-1 for GW27) over the course of 2 weeks.
Ibrahimovic's FPL season ended during Gameweek 33's victory over Chelsea. In his only substitute appearance of the season, Zlatan's impact on the game was coming off the bench, only to be booked and end up with nothing to show in his final appearance.
Zlatan will be widely remembered for winning the most loosely based treble in United's history (Community Shield, League Cup, and Europa League), but it is silverware that other players would only dream of lifting. His FPL is not as clear cut, but he mostly succeeded when banked on in the first half of the season, and his legacy would have been confounded to a higher order had it not been for his injury suffered in the Europa League quarter-final against Anderlecht, which skew the final count at the end of the season.
It's 163 and out for Zlatan, who was prematurely batted out with 7 rounds left to play.
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