Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been “fixed” and feels “stronger” after undergoing knee surgery in the United States, he said on Tuesday.
“Fixed, done and stronger,” Ibrahimovic posted on his official Instagram account, accompanied by a photograph showing white medical wristbands around his two wrists, or at least that was the original image he posted.
About an hour after sharing the image on Instagram, he took it down before replacing it with a picture of his forearm sporting a tattoo whilst lying in his hospital bed by the looks of the sheets and the fact that he appears to be wearing a hospital gown.
The reasoning behind the change of picture is unclear, especially since the caption remained exactly the same, including the typo at the end of it.
“Once again thank you for the support. We will enjoy my game togheter soon.”
Ibrahimovic, 35, faces a long period of rehabilitation after sustaining ligament damage in his right knee during United’s Europa League quarter-final win against Anderlecht last month.
With his United contract due to expire at the end of the season, his future at the club is in doubt.
United wrote on Twitter: “Good news from Zlatan’s team that he has undergone successful knee surgery.”
In a statement released late on Monday, Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola said surgery in Pittsburgh had been “successful”.
Raiola added: “He will make a full recovery and has not suffered a career-ending injury.”
Meanwhile, Neymar was one of the stars who notably liked the original post along with Marcus Rashford and former United star David Beckham commented, “Get well soon big man”.
Ibrahimovic was a stunning success in his first season at United, scoring 28 goals in 46 appearances and inspiring the team to victory over Southampton in the League Cup final.
Provided by AFP
The symbolism was far-reaching as the final whistle blew, not only on Arsenal’s chances of salvaging something from the north London derby but of the dreaded St Totteringham’s day that has plagued both Spurs fans and neutrals in equal measure.
Tottenham won’t only finish above their rivals for the first time in 22 years, they’ll more than likely do it by a significant margin as the current gap of 17 points could swell beyond 20 come May 21.
That’s the sort of separation Arsenal regularly experienced during Arsene Wenger’s first decade in charge and the peak of their dominance, but now there is everything to suggest the roles have reversed.
A lot depends on hypotheticals and moving parts within both clubs, with Tottenham’s switch to Wembley a potential speedbump given their outstanding home record at White Hart Lane under Mauricio Pochettino.
But reasoned logic suggests Pochettino’s planning and the idea that Spurs are in the midst of a project should keep Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen et al. for at least two more seasons.
Their manager’s faith in young talent could also help them promote themselves as a ‘Dortmund of the Premier League’ in the market this summer; helping attract the sort of players that were always Wenger’s stock-in-trade.
In the red half of north London, however, the future looks decidedly less certain. We’re – and possibly his players too – yet to discover what Wenger is doing beyond this month, nor if Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Ozil want to stay.
Hadn't seen outcomes presented like this. Hugely impressive Spurs record on all counts. pic.twitter.com/TyIHQ1Us2D— Chris Anderson (@soccerquant) May 1, 2017
Even if the manager does sign a two-year contract the likely lack of Champions League football will surely force at least one of Sanchez or Ozil to leave, perhaps both, and serious investment is then required.
London will always be an attractive destination for any footballer but when there are two other clubs in the city in the Champions League, unless Arsenal are willing to break their wage ceiling, they will be a comfortable third choice.
There is also the very real scenario Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey and even Keiran Gibbs could be plucked away this summer with only one-year left on their deals; while in 2019, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Nacho Monreal, Gabriel and Petr Cech all become free agents.
Four are either already in their 30s or will be by then, meaning the eternally-prudent Arsenal board may be reticent in retaining them.
That represents 11 first-team players and a manager who could feasibly be gone within 24 months, none of which carries any visible contingency plan.
Tottenham’s time has arrived, and it’s difficult to see Arsenal stopping them in the short-term.
Teddy Sheringham sees no reason why Harry Kane or Dele Alli should leave Tottenham claiming Mauricio Pochettino has assembled an elite squad for the future.
Spurs lie four points behind leaders Chelsea in the race for the Premier League title after another season of progress under the Argentine manager.
However, such has been their success the long-term prospects of their leading lights has also attracted debate and speculation.
Kane’s 21 league goals have placed him among Europe’s leading young marksmen while Alli has scored 17 in the Premier League and added five assists, at the age of 21.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted last week that Tottenham would struggle to hold onto their prized assets unless they can match the sort of salaries offered by England’s highest-spending clubs like Manchester United and Manchester City.
But Sheringham, who left White Hart Lane to sign for United in 1997, said: “There’s no reason for them to go.
“When I left to go to Manchester United, the club wasn’t in the same position they are in now.
“They are challenging for honours, building a new stadium, have a fantastic manager. They are looking to progress, why would you want to go anywhere else?
“They are playing for one of the top three, four, five clubs in the country. The club is on the up, everyone is on the up in the club, there’s no reason to go anywhere else.
“They seem quite happy where they are.”
The highest final league position achieved while Sheringham was a Tottenham player was seventh in the 1994/95 season and the concept of being title-challengers seemed a long-way off.
A run of nine-straight wins has this impressive Spurs side breathing down the necks of Chelsea with four matches remaining, albeit with the Blues enjoying a very comfortable run-in of Middlesbrough, Watford and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge and West Brom away.
Sheringham admits Chelsea’s consistency means the gap is too great for his former club to breach and they may have to make do with a runner-up finish.
Speaking at an IJF coaching clinic at Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex in Dubai on Monday night, Sheringham added: “I said about two months ago – when it was a 10 point deficit at that point – that they would run them close, that the gap will diminish, but I just think Chelsea have too much.
“They’ve got it down to four points, could get it to two, but they are just looking too solid. They’ve had that sticky patch where they’ve lost by a few points. Now they are back on track. I see them riding it out really.”