The scene at AC Milan has been transformed in the last week. President Silvio Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani had decided to once again keep the club’s money in their pockets this summer and, as such, arrivals were uninspiring. Marco Amelia, a second choice goalkeeper, Mario Yepes, a 34-year-old defender and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, a Greek stopper, all became Milan players. Now they have been joined by former Internazionale star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Brazilian wizard Robinho in an abrupt transfer policy U-turn.

What a difference just a few weeks can make. As August neared its end, and political elections loomed for Berlusconi, Milan’s supremo changed his mind. Firstly he decided to buy Ghana midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng (officially at the San Siro loan from Genoa, though all but set for a permanent move), followed up with first the out-of-favour Barcelona star Zlatan Ibrahimovic and then Robinho to complete a spectacular and dangerous attacking unit alongside Filippo Inzaghi, Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Marco Borriello were released to Schalke and Roma respectively.

However, amongst these summer signings, there is no doubt which name has captured the imagination of the Rossoneri faithful; Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s presence gives hope that, after years of Inter domination, Milan will be in contention for the Serie A title once again.

Ibrahimovic struggled at the Camp Nou with coach Pep Guardiola and nicknamed him “The Philosopher” (probably because the 39-year-old Catalan coach is a true gentleman). The Swede had decided to leave Inter at the end of the 2008/09 season because, in his words, Barcelona “play the football of 2015 and it will be easy to win the Champions League with the Catalan team.” Ibrahimovic might have scored 21 goals last season for Guardiola – in all competitions – but the coach fell out of love with him at the beginning of March and preferred the tiny trio of Lionel Messi, Bojan Krkic and Pedro Rodriguez up front. Ironically, Inter went on to win the Champions League last season after 45 years of failure, without the Swede. “Ibra” was upset about what he saw as a personal failure.

AC Milan have the option to make Ibrahimovic’s loan switch permanent for €24M and with the Rossoneri he will earn in the region of €8M, less than at the Camp Nou. The Swede will play in what is already being dubbed a magical trio with Ronaldinho and Pato, or with Robinho, who just beat the transfer deadline to arrive at the San Siro.

“Ibra” was presented to the Milan faithful at Sunday’s 4-0 rout of Lecce. There can be little doubt that the presence of the Swede inspired the team to produce a wonderful display that had the crowd on their feet. Ibrahimovic was, suitably impressed, declaring after the game: “I am coming here to win everything and this year I am sure we are going to win every trophy!”. Typical Ibrahimovic…

The striker will only be the sixth player ever to have played for the big three of the Italian game (Milan, Inter and Juventus) after Giuseppe Meazza, Aldo Serena, Edgar Davids, Roberto Baggio and Christian Vieri. Ibrahimovic certainly made his presence felt at Milan’s rivals; the Swede played with Juventus for two years and won two titles – both overturned after the Calciopoli scandal – and with Inter for three years, winning three Scudettos and scoring 88 goals.

It was at Internazionale that “Ibra” emerged as the real leader of the team and in the 2007/08 season his goals really led the way as Milan’s rivals scooped another title. The Nerazzurri faithful often criticised Ibrahimovic however, because of a supposed failure to turn up for the Champions League, where he often appeared shy and insecure. Nevertheless, the Inter faithful and president Massimo Moratti are none too happy to see Ibrahimovic a Milan player and at the forefront of their mind are the other players in recent years who left the Nerazzurri and became pillars for the Rossoneri; chiefly Andrea Pirlo and Clarence Seedorf.  Inter should remember though that there have been failures too, such as Ronaldo and Christian Vieri, who both failed to impress with Milan.

The international break has put Ibrahimovic’s return to Italy on temporary hold as he guides Sweden in their Euro 2012 qualifiers against Hungary and San Marino. When the forward does finally step out in Serie A against Cesena all eyes will be upon him. It is appreciated across Italy that Ibrahimovic will be important to Massimilano Allegri’s new-look Rossoneri; and one fact is recalled: Ibrahimovic has never failed in Italian football. It’s a safe bet he doesn’t intend to start now.