The Scout continues to assess the standout contenders for the Gameweek 1 armband, turning to Man Utd’s new talisman

Sports Livestream ⚽ JOIN NOW for FREE
Instant access to the BT Sport, Sky Sports and Eurosport

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (£11.5m) needed less than four minutes to make his mark at new club Manchester United.

Handed a start in the Red Devils’ friendly against Galatasaray, the summer signing opened the scoring with a finely taken volley to help his side grab a 5-2 victory in late July.

In his first competitive match for United, Ibrahimovic once again delivered.

A late header gave Jose Mourinho’s men a 2-1 win over Premier League champions Leicester City in last weekend’s FA Community Shield, earning the Swede the 31st trophy of his glittering career.

Ibrahimovic arrives at Old Trafford on the back of an outstanding season for Paris Saint-German as he produced 38 goals and 13 assists in 31 league appearances.

Put into perspective, only one player in Ligue 1 managed to score more than half that amount in 2015/16, while only team-mate Angel Di Maria produced more assists (18).

Reunited with Mourinho after a successful stint together at Inter Milan, Ibrahimovic is set to lead the line as United seek to improve upon last term’s fifth-place finish.
Although the arrival of Paul Pogba (£8.5m) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£9.5m) should go some way to addressing an attack that scored only 49 times last term, it is the acquisition of Ibrahimovic that has captured the imagination of Fantasy Premier League managers.

Over 39% have already snapped up the former Sweden international, making him the second-most popular player in the game behind Sergio Aguero (£13.0m).

An opening Gameweek trip to AFC Bournemouth affords Ibrahimovic the chance to build on his summer momentum.

Having conceded 34 times in front of their own fans, Eddie Howe’s side boasted the second-worst home defensive record in 2015/16, keeping four clean sheets at Vitality Stadium.

Trips to Hull City and Watford, allied with a home encounter against Southampton in the opening five fixtures, also hand Ibrahimovic the perfect opportunity to bring in the points.

A home derby with Manchester City in Gameweek 4 represents their toughest early test but as he’s shown time and again, Ibrahimovic is a player for the big occasion.

If he can maintain last season’s 24.5% goal conversion rate, the Red Devils’ new signing looks set to rival Aguero for our armband affections over the early Gameweeks and beyond.