Over the years, Milan have made transfer decisions that have delighted and disappointed us. It’s an impossible task to always make the ‘popular’ choices, but some certainly hurt more than others.
Patrick Cutrone has been with the Rossoneri since 2007, joining the club as a nine year old before coming through the youth ranks and making his breakthrough for the first team in 2017.
It followed a stunning spell in the Primavera side, while he has contributed 27 goals and seven assists in 90 appearances at senior level to date. For a young player still learning his trade, it’s fair to say that’s a decent return.
As seen in the images below, it brought a sense of joy and pride to see him go through that journey alongside another youth team graduate in Manuel Locatelli, but sadly the journey appears set to end for both well before they’ve come anywhere near their prime.
According to MilanNews, the 21-year-old forward is expected to complete a €22m move to join Wolves in the coming days having returned early from the pre-season tour, and so it appears as though his career in a Milan shirt will come to an end much sooner than anyone would have anticipated.
— Milan Talk (@MilanTalk1) August 4, 2017
As with any big decision, there are pros and cons involved, and perhaps taking sentiment out of the equation, it’s easier to understand why the Milan hierarchy have decided that it was the right time to move him on.
Exit tough to accept
There’s something special about seeing a young player come through the club’s own system, and invariably that leads to a closer bond and connection between them, the club and the fans.
Cutrone’s goalscoring record is a modest one if looking at it from a harsher perspective, but one thing that the Italian international can’t be accused of is ever lacking the passion, commitment and determination to give everything for the badge.
That was evident every single time he stepped onto the pitch, and his ability to lift not only his teammates but also the supporters was a memorable aspect of his time in the senior squad.
Still a raw talent to some degree, there is no doubt he possesses a goalscorer’s instincts. His movement and finishing in the box at times was superb, and although there were lazy comparisons to Pippo Inzaghi, he was making his own name and looked a real talent to boost our attack.
For those reasons and many more, this is going to be a difficult exit to accept for many fans, as it’s a huge shame to see him leave at this stage of his career knowing that he would have been desperate to establish himself as a Milan legend.
Logic behind decision to sell
Sadly though, Cutrone has his limitations. Beyond the goals and work ethic, there are several areas of his game that still need huge improvement, namely his ability to hold the ball up and bring others into play as well as his overall presence if leading the line.
Ultimately, there is no doubt that he would have been a back-up option for Krzysztof Piatek this season, and for the sake of seeing him flourish too from a less selfish perspective, an exit seems like the logical choice for all concerned.
Some may argue that he’s already effectively hit his ceiling and we’ve seen about as much as he can, and will, offer in the coming years. While that’s true to an extent, with more experience and maturity as well as working with top coaches to improve, there is a sense that there could still be more to come.
Nevertheless, he doesn’t possess the attributes to suit the 4-3-1-2 that Marco Giampaolo is implementing this season, and targets such as Rafael Leao and Angel Correa, as per MilanLive, certainly do tick the right boxes in terms of being able to provide the perfect foil and depth alongside Piatek in the squad this year.
With that in mind, Milan have arguably made the right choice, both for Giampaolo and Cutrone himself. Piatek is our No.9 and he will be our main striker this season. Perhaps it would be better to see ‘Cutrogol’ flourish in England and continue to develop with that trademark celebration on show rather than sitting on the bench and looking dejected as he struggles to play a prominent role for the club he loves.
For him to fulfil his potential and perhaps prove that Milan have made a mistake, Cutrone has to move on for his own career, as it would be a huge shame to see him grow frustrated as he continues to sit down the pecking order. That is arguably why he’s now willing to accept an exit.
All Milan fans will wish him the best of luck moving forward, and while we’re thankful for the heart and determination he showed on the pitch and the immense pride he showed representing the club off it, we’re simply moving in a direction that makes this the sensible outcome, albeit it’s one many of us will have to accept through gritted teeth.
— Team Milan Video (@TeamMilanVideo) July 27, 2019