Five potential Zlatan Ibrahimovic replacements for Milan
Milan are likely to be in the market for a new striker in the summer. As good as he is, even Zlatan Ibrahimovic can’t go on forever. The Rossoneri look primed for a return to the Champions League after a seven-year absence next season; it’ll be important for them to get the right man in to lead the line.
Calciomercato report that the Italian giants have a shortlist of five players they will be targeting.
Fiorentina’s 21-year-old Serbian has come of age this season. With 12 goals in 24 Serie A games, he is attracting the sort of attention his potential at Partizan Belgrade warranted.
He is averaging one in two shots on target this season, too, suggesting his proficiency is not a temporary purple patch, but rather the result of natural growth and development in his game.
At 6 ft 3, he would be the ideal replacement for Zlatan stylistically. Having created four big chances this season, he is certainly adept at bringing teammates into play, too.
Former Arsenal youth product Donyell Malen has been lighting the Eredivisie up for a few years now. The PSV Eindhoven striker has been in fine form this season, having scored 15 goals in just 26 games.
In comparison to Vlahovic, Malen isn’t as physically imposing and is better playing off the shoulder. He can play out wide, too, with good pace and strength to match his impressive finishing ability.
Although Serie A would unquestionably be a step up in this regard, Malen is brilliant at finding space in the box and getting shots away at goal. He averages 4.1 shots per match, with 2.2 on target. Good shot accuracy will doubtless lead to healthy goal totals season on season.
Another young star of Dutch football, AZ Alkmaar’s Myron Boadu, is also reportedly being considered by Milan. Not quite as prolific as Malen over the span of a few seasons, but the 20-year-old has 12 goals in 23 games this season.
His pace would be a nightmare for defenders and a real asset to Stefano Pioli’s side next season. But he is far from the same type of striker as Zlatan or many others on this list, so would potentially request a change of system to help him flourish.
He is also far less of a focal point, and the evidence for this comes in the shape of his shooting stats. With just 1.6 strikes taken per game, he won’t have the same impact positionally as some other options. Boadu is an extremely explosive player, though.
The Torino striker stands out as both the most realistic and suitable option available to Milan. Although he has never hit the heights of four years ago, when he hit 26 goals in 35 Serie A games, he has remained fairly consistent in terms of his goal return. He has 11 to his name this season, just five fewer than last season, having played nine fewer games.
As the most experienced striker on this list, he won’t need anywhere near the same amount of time to adapt at San Siro. On the negative side of his argument, Belotti is not as accurate as some of his competition, having averages just 1.2 shots on target from 3.4 taken per 90 minutes.
He doesn’t score particularly decisive goals, either, with just one this season and three equalisers. Perhaps he would be more effective at a club like Milan, who are more likely to dominate games.
Celtic striker Edouard looks likely to leave Glasgow this summer after proving himself in the Scottish Premiership over recent years, Nevertheless, he would be a surprising choice for Milan.
There can be no denying the Frenchman’s quality; he has scored 16 goals in 20 starts this season, but surprisingly only averages 1.9 shots on target from just over four per game.
In terms of an all round game, he will create for teammates and bring them into the game using his poise on the ball as well as his physicality.
Within the Scottish Premiership he has scored five decisive goals, four opening goals, and two equalisers.