In the fourth of our series where we discover the players who inspired our boys in blue, we turn our attentions to one of our new boys.
Sean Okoli tore up USL last year with 16 goals which earned him the MVP and Golden Boot award but who is the player he looked up to most when coming up?
There was a Barcelona connection in all three of our previous entries from Jack Harrison (Ronaldinho), Khiry Shelton (Thierry Henry) and Ethan White (Carles Puyol) but does it continue with Okoli?
Yes, yes it does… Sean has gone for one of the only men in football who can get away with referring to himself in the third person… it’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Sean on Ibrahimovic
“My idol to this day is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I just love his mentality, I love the way he plays the no.9 role and I love how he scores goals and he does that every single year.”
Ibra-cadabra: I Am Zlatan
Still seemingly at the peak of his powers at Manchester United at the age of 35, Zlatan has won trophies wherever he’s been.
Since graduating from the youth academy at Malmo in his native Sweden, Ibrahimovic has won leagues title in the Netherlands (Ajax), Italy (Inter and Milan), Spain (Barcelona) and France (PSG).
Averaging a strike rate better than a goal every other game, Zlatan is unquestionably one of the greatest no.9s of his generation, renowned for his athleticism, balletic poise and unerring, ruthless predatory instincts in front of goal.
That rare beast as a great goalscorer and a scorer of great goals, Ibrahimovic shows no sign of letting up in the Premier League where he’s scored 17 goals in 26 appearances this term.
Zlatan is the only player in our My Favorite Player series so far to still be playing the game. He joined Manchester United from PSG last summer.
Milan (Loan) 2010-2011
Manchester United 2016
Eredivisie (2): 2001/02, 2003/04
KNVB Cup: 2001/02
Serie A (3): 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09
La Liga: 2009/10
UEFA Super Cup: 2009
FIFA Club World Cup: 2009
Serie A: 2010/11
Ligue 1 (4): 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16
Coupe de France (2): 2014/15, 2015/16
Coupe de la Ligue (3): 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16