Search icon


23rd Dec 2016

Jamie Carragher’s best signing of 2016 will certainly divide opinion

Liverpool fans won't be pleased

Patrick McCarry

The summer 2016 transfer window was the biggest in the Premier League’s history but Jamie Carragher feels a player signed for free has proved to be the best of the lot.

In a summer that saw Paul Pogba join Manchester United for £89m, Leicester City splash out £28m on Islam Slimani and Arsenal and Manchester City drop a combined £82m on centre halves Shkodran Mustafi and John Stones, there were some bargains to be had.

Manchester United got Zlatan Ibrahimovic in for free and have benefited to the tune of 16 goals and three assists in 25 games. For Carragher, that is good enough for him.

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

Taking into account the January 2016 and summer transfer windows, the former Liverpool defender declares Ibrahimovic as his signing of the year. In his Daily Mail column, Carragher argues:

‘I felt critics looked at Ibrahimovic, when he was dominating in Serie A and Ligue 1, with an element of suspicion because he didn’t do it in the Champions League.

‘Things started to change when he scored four against England for Sweden during a friendly in November 2012, but now he has arrived in the Premier League, he hasn’t let us down, with 16 goals in 25 games.

”You cannot dispute he is box office. He is charismatic, powerful and a scorer of all kinds of goals. Zlatan has shown us why he has won 29 major honours — including 11 league titles — during his glittering career.’

Carragher does not offer an alternative to his best signing but the fact that N’Golo Kante, who switched from Leicester to Chelsea, gets his Player of 2016 suggests he may have pushed the Swede close. Kante cost Chelsea a mere £32m in the summer.

Liverpool supporters may argue that Sadio Mané has added some attacking thrust to their side, who are second in the league going into Christmas, while David Luiz and Jeff Hendrick have also proved to be canny acquisitions.

Ibrahimovic has truly settled into Old Trafford and has rarely missed a minute when fit. Last week, the 35-year-old joked [we think] that he could continue playing for 15 more years.

Despite his goal glut, Ibrahimovic is edged out of the striker positions in Carragher’s Team of 2016. Those two slots go to Sergio Aguero and the rejuvenated Diegio Costa.