Manchester United sold Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan in the summer of 2019, not replacing the player, which was something Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was slated for at the start of the season. In the January transfer window, Odion Ighalo was brought in on a loan deal until the end of the season, which has been hampered by the Coronavirus pandemic.
This summer, or later if the transfer window is delayed, Solskjaer will be seeking to add some extra firepower to his squad. Ighalo would be a perfect player to sign permanently, if the player and Shanghai Shenhua are interested, but having another striker in the ranks would not be a mistake. One player currently linked is Arkadiusz Milik.
The Poland international currently plays for Napoli after signing from Ajax in the summer of 2016 for a fee reported to be around €35 million. During the 2019/21 season, before it was halted, Milik had played 22 times for his club, scoring 12 goals; nine in Serie A and a further three in the UEFA Champions League.
Milik’s contract runs until the end of the 2020/21 season, meaning he has just over a year remaining which could give United some clout if they are seriously interested in the 26-year-old. The reported fee is suggested to be around £60 million, which may be merely speculation but I am sure Napoli would be looking to recoup their initial investment, making a profit also with football being more of a business these days.
Reports suggest the player did not have the best childhood after his father walked out on the family but a football coach in the country, Sławomir ‘Moki’ Mogilan, helped him succeed in the game and get to where he is right now, which shows the level of discipline that the player may have – a trait that Solskjaer may be looking for to completely redevelop the mentality at the club right now.
Milik is a Manchester United supporter and has previously talked about playing at Old Trafford but at the time he was playing for Bayer Leverkusen (2013-15) and had recently made the move from Polish club Górnik Zabrze after coming through the youth ranks of Rozwój Katowice. The 26-year-old also played for FC Augsburg (loan) and Ajax (loan) before signing for the Dutch club permanently. Speaking about United, Milik said:
“I am a Red Devil supporter, so I would love to play at Old Trafford one day.
“For now, however, I am a Bayer Leverkusen footballer, and I am very far from Manchester.”
The player was once on the radar of English clubs, having a trial with Tottenham Hotspur back in 2011 when Harry Redknapp was the manager but after he seemingly failed to impress, Spurs decided not to pay Rozwój Katowice the £100,000 fee they were looking for. Championship club, Reading also turned down the players year before started performing was on the road to becoming a decent striker.
During his career so far, Milik has played 259 competitive matches, playing for five different club in nine seasons, scoring 112 goals and assisting a further 34, playing a total of 15,271 minutes of football. Whilst those figures may not be amazing, he seems to be a striker capable of finding the back of the net, whether playing as the main striker, or the second striker.
Milik is described as a ‘versatile and well-rounded left-footed’ forward who is ‘capable of playing off another forward’. The 26-year-old has the ‘ability to both score and create goals’ and ‘possesses pace and good movement off the ball, as well as a powerful and accurate shot, which make him an excellent finisher and goalscorer’. He is also ‘physically strong, agile, and a good header of the ball, which allows him to excel in the air’. Milik has been compared to compatriot Robert Lewandowski by the Polish sports media.