Milan are reportedly set to reshuffle their options in attack this summer with coach Marco Giampaolo seemingly looking for different characteristics in his frontmen.
The one constant amid all the speculation is that Krzysztof Piatek will lead the line, and after scoring 11 goals in 21 appearances following his January move to join us, the priority is to bring in players capable of flourishing alongside him and ensuring he can be at his prolific best.
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Giampaolo has now had three weeks to take a close look at his options during pre-season preparations, and it appears as though Andre Silva and Patrick Cutrone don’t tick the right boxes.
As noted by Sky Sport Italia, both men have been linked with exits, which could raise around €48m to go towards signing replacements and strengthening the squad with capable support strikers and depth up top.
Silva and Cutrone on way out
On one hand, it would be disappointing to see the pair go. Silva arguably could have done with a second chance in Italy to prove his worth, while Cutrone’s passion, commitment and quality in front of goal will be missed if he does now seal a move elsewhere.
Nevertheless, there is a sense that both players are quite limited, and perhaps if we want to take that next step and compete for major honours, we need more from our forwards to support Piatek and ensure that we have the creativity and firepower around him that is required to break back into the top four in Serie A.
Rafael Leao and Correa to fill those voids
The report from Sky above suggests that Angel Correa will be the first key signing in that department in a deal worth around €40m plus bonuses, while La Gazzetta dello Sport now note that Milan are closing in on the signing of Rafael Leao in a €35m deal from Lille.
The statistics aren’t particularly impressive. Correa has 30 goals and 28 assists in 188 appearances for Atletico Madrid, while Leao bagged eight goals and two assists in 26 outings for Lille last season.
Beyond the numbers though, it’s easy to see why Milan would be interested as they’re still young at 24 and 20 respectively, have plenty of upside in terms of their future value and have the qualities needed to fit into Giampaolo’s plans.
Correa possesses technical quality and creativity in the final third as well as tenacity and energy off the ball, satisfying both the need to help Milan play expansive football while pressing the opposition and winning back possession high up the pitch.
As for Leao, he looks strong, quick and skilful while also being versatile enough to offer an option of being a poacher in the box to perhaps come in if Piatek is rested, while having the attributes to play off the Polish international and stretch defences to create space for him with his ability to run direct and into the channels.
With that in mind, it’s fair to say that they fit the bill more so than Silva and Cutrone for the most part, and if we’re really backing Giampaolo and his 4-3-1-2 system as well as the style of play and identity that he wants to implement at Milan moving forward, then these are the type of targets that are seemingly going to have a better chance of successfully carrying out his instructions on the pitch.
It is a gamble, especially with the figures being touted and given that both players still have much to prove to warrant those transfer fees. While it’s exciting to a degree, as with any signings there is a hint of doubt too over Correa’s ability to be the creative spark on a consistent basis while Leao could just be the next M’baye Niang based on how similar they look at times.
Nevertheless, they’re the type of players and potential signings that show the Milan management are scouting extensively to bring in the right individuals to fit Giampaolo’s needs, and time will tell if the pieces fall into place for the revolution in attack to play out.
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