Zlatan Ibrahimovic won’t be using Manchester United’s pre-season trip to China to acquaint himself with his new teammates, with Jose Mourinho instead electing to give the veteran striker some extra time to recuperate ahead of the new campaign.
However, it’s not being deprived of time to align his game with those of the players who’ll be supplying his munitions next season that undermines Ibrahimovic’s chances of not only being the Premier League top scorer in 2016/17, but a host of other factors.
The heralded Swede can be backed at 9/1 to claim the Golden Boot in his first and possibly only year in English football, a price that makes Ibra third-favourite in the betting behind Sergio Aguero (13/4) and Harry Kane (5/1).
Both fellow frontmen rank as better value bets than the former Paris Saint-Germain striker, though they’re not the only ones.
Red Devils colleagues Anthony Martial (33/1) and Wayne Rooney (50/1), who’ll be sharing the goalscoring burden with Ibrahimovic, have a superior chance in the Golden Boot stakes based on the latter’s habits during his first year with a new team.
Aside from maiden campaigns at Juventus and Barcelona, where he lasted a little over 12 months, the 34-year-old’s opening term has never been his most prolific.
Malmo, Ajax, both Milan titans and PSG benefitted most from Ibra’s best net bulging returns after he had been bedded in at least year.
With each respective former employer, only once has the ex-Sweden international netted a tally that would be competitive in the skirmish to top the Premier League scoring charts in his first season on their books.
Except for the 30 he bagged in the French capital in 2012/13, his opening-campaign hauls read: one, six, 16, 15, 16 and 14.
This, combined with the fact that no English top-flight novice has ever topped the scoring charts in his first term in the division, makes it safe to write Ibrahimovic off in the Golden Boot betting.