Milan have boasted some of the best strikers in the game over the years, but in more recent times it’s been a source of real frustration and disappointment.
Much has been made of the so-called N0.9 curse, as those who have worn that number in recent years have seemingly struggled to live up to that responsibility and expectation, and have eventually moved on.
Krzysztof Piatek was the latest after making a stunning initial impact in his first six months at the club, but as the goals dried up this season and with an inability to offer much more other than being an out-and-out goalscorer, he was moved on and Zlatan Ibrahimovic came back to offer a more proven solution.
At 38 years of age though, he can only occupy that role for so long. As noted by the club’s official site, his current deal runs until the end of the season, while there is an option to extend for another 12 months.
Given his impact since his return, it would seemingly make sense for Milan to exercise that option and keep him at the club next season, although aside from Rafael Leao, there is still a glaring lack of quality depth and competition up front.
As per MilanNews, Jovic has been linked with us as it’s suggested that €40m could be enough to prise him away from Real Madrid, although his wages could also represent an obstacle. That’s also assuming that he’s willing to call time on his stint at the Bernabeu after just one disappointing season.
First and foremost though, would he be the right fit for us and give us the kind of presence we need up front to score goals consistently and to offer something more to the team as a whole?
Lots of potential, but still a gamble
The 22-year-old rose to prominence during his time at Eintracht Frankfurt, bagging 36 goals and nine assists in 75 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit, while he has two goals in seven caps for Serbia.
As seen in the videos below, he can be deadly in and around the box and can also offer an aerial threat to show an ability to score goals in various ways.
While possessing pace and clever movement is crucial to not only create goalscoring opportunities for himself but also to stretch defences and create space for others, he has shown a physical presence in the box which history shows Milan require from their frontman while also being able to assist others.
However, after his big move to Real Madrid last summer, he has managed just two goals and two assists in 24 outings. Put into greater context though, many of those appearances have been run-outs late in games as he’s been unable to displace Karim Benzema in the starting line-up, and so that is a key factor in his struggles as he will have found it difficult to build up any sort of momentum or chemistry while trying to settle in a new league, culture and squad.
Jovic is arguably a striker that needs to play regularly to find his rhythm and the goals will then follow, and so the stop-start nature of his spell in Spain has surely complicated his ability to show his real worth.
Nevertheless, there is still the threat that he could follow a similar path to Piatek, Andre Silva and others before him. Jovic is a clinical finisher, but he has to have the right service and quality around him to find him in those positions to finish chances off. If Milan don’t address that, there will arguably be lingering doubts over how he would be any different to those before him.
With Leao and Ante Rebic, perhaps we have some solutions. Either playing alongside him or on the wings, they have the pace and directness to cause defences problems and give Jovic the licence to sit in the box and bury chances. Add Ibrahimovic’s experience and quality to help guide them and take that pressure off their shoulders when necessary too, it could be a smart move to give us short term and long term answers.
However, bringing Jovic in and leaving him stuck behind the Swede, similarly to how Benzema has kept him out of the line-up at Real Madrid, could make it a gamble that doesn’t pay off. In turn, Milan need to think carefully about their next move in attack and who is going to be best positioned to fire us back into contention for the top four in Serie A next season.