GdS: Milan gripped by an Ibrahimovic paradox – the shocking numbers with and without him

By Oliver Fisher -

Zlatan Ibrahimovic remains the leader in the AC Milan squad and he deserves a lot of credit for guiding a young group on a resurgence since he came back 18 months ago, but there are some interesting trends regarding his impact on the team.

La Gazzetta dello Sport writes how the most simple metric to measure Ibrahimovic’s impact is that he has scored 8 goals in 15 games, 2 more than Rafael Leao and 3 more than Olivier Giroud in terms of leading scoring for the team.

However, the Swede is at great risk of missing the crucial derby on Saturday against Inter due to inflammation and pain in the Achilles tendon that he sustained against Juventus, which then provokes the comparison of how Milan cope without him versus with him.

So far he has played 11 games in the league, scoring 7 goals, which have resulted in 4 wins, 3 draws and 4 defeats for the Rossoneri, with 18 goals scored and 15 conceded at an average points per game of 1.36. The wins came against Bologna, Roma, Genoa and Venezia.

With Ibrahimovic not starting (therefore coming on as a substitute or missing the game entirely) Milan racked up 11 wins and a draw, without losing. On four occasions the Swedish forward came off the bench, scoring in the 2-0 against Lazio that is his most recent goal at San Siro. When he came off the bench, Milan got 12 points from a possible 12.

When Ibra did not start, Milan scored 28 goals and conceded only 10, with an average points per game of 2.83. With the Swede now missing several matches due to Covid and various injuries which are to be expected at 40, it serves as a reassurance that the Rossoneri can win the big games without him.

READ MORE: Elliott’s commitment, positives, concerns and conclusions – Breaking down Milan’s 2020-21 accounts

Tags AC Milan Zlatan Ibrahimovic


  1. He is not a starter anymore. How is that not clear by now? He performs best and we perform best when he enters from the bench in the last 20 to 30 minutes.

    I almost got crucified when I said that last time and I’ll probably be again, but even the numbers show that it is time to start getting used to Post-Ibra Milan.

    1. People who believes he should be starting are delusional. Ibra spoils the rythm of the game if he starts. He should be coming on in the last 20-30 minutes.

      1. Very delusional. You are absolutely correct.
        Altafini said it and people don’t want to admit it. Ibra starting slows the attack, because he’s trying to conserve energy so he can last a little longer. People need to deal with the fact that Ibra can’t play forever.

  2. I really hope Milan are discussing some sort of lower salary renewal for a player/coach type of position for Ibrahimovic next year. With all due respect to Piolo he would be out of the job right now had Ibra never arrived. Milan can’t afford to lose his presence and Ibra has a chance to get valuable management experience.

  3. These stats are interesting but what were the exact games that he missed vs he played in. Were these games were we picked up points without him against relative easy opponents and vice versa with him playing against stronger opponents?

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