July 25, 2012 by backofthenetjl
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been a key player for Milan over the years and his departure will have a huge impact on the team, so this article looks at any players, currently at Milan or currently playing elsewhere, who can fill the void that the Swedish striker has left.
Cassano didn’t play too much football last season for Milan due to a minor-stroke he suffered which put him out of action for 6 months. But when he returned in April, he impressed and force his way into Italy’s Euro 2012 squad. His Record for Milan isn’t brilliant, maybe because his first team opportunites were limited as Pato, Robinho and Ibrahimovic were ahead of him in the pecking order. However, I believe that after a very good Euro 2012 and Ibrahimovic’s move to PSG, we could be seeing Cassano featuring a lot more as from next season. The 30-year-old is a very gifted player, he occupies the role just behind the striker, which he fits the role perfectly due to his vision, awareness and other attributes. It is questionable whether he can step up to the mark and replace Ibrahimovic though, he is an entirely different player and although he’ll start appearing a lot more for the Rossoneri, I don’t believe he is completely the right player to fill the void left.
At only 22, Pato seems to have been around for a long time. He is still only young and is yet to reach the peak of his career, yet he also has a lot of valuable experience, playing at the top level, in Club World Cup’s and Champions League’s. He is a very pacey forward, who is always a danger to the opposition. He has a very good goalscoring record for Milan, since joining in 2007, he has netted 61 goals for the Italian Club, most of them came in the 2008/09 season, when he contributed with 18 goals, the most amount for a Milan player that season. It was believed that Pato was heading to PSG this summer, but instead Ibrahimovic has been the man who moved to the French Giants, suggesting Pato will remain at Milan, after he committed his future to the Club. In my opinion, Pato is the ideal candidate to succeed Ibrahimovic.
Robinho has performed quite well since moving to Milan in 2010, scoring 20 goals over 2 seasons and forming a sensational partnership with Ibrahimovic. He will be affected the most from the departure of the Swede as they had an understanding when playing together and struck up a prolific partnership, they both scored 14 goals a piece in the 2010/11 season and fired Milan to the Serie A title. Robinho relied on Ibrahimovic massively and looked lost without him, when he was either injured or suspended. Robinho, is very incosistent aswell, he will be absolutely brilliant one game and then very poor the next, you never really know what sort of performance you’ll get from him. I don’t feel has enough about him to really rise to the challenge and fill the void left by his former strike partner.
El Shaarawy is an extremely talented youngster, probably the second best whizkid around, behind Neymar. He was 1st in My Top 10 Young Talents in Serie A https://thedisguisedpass.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/top-10-young-talents-in-serie-a/ and I reckon that he will become a fantastic player, if he reaches his full potential. He managed to make 22 appearances in Serie A last term, which I think is quite remarkable for a player who is only 19 and is behind some exceptional players in the Milan’s pecking order. His Ability is clear to see, its just whether he can step it up a gear and have the right attitude. He still has time to develop and improve and gain more experience. At the moment I think its too sudden to put too much pressure on El Shaarawy as he’s still learning, right now I don’t think he is ready to feel the pressure of succeeding a player of Ibrahimovic’s calibre and therefore not able to fill the void that Ibra has left, for the time being, although I do feel he definitely will in the long term.
Dzeko has been somewhat surplus to requirements for Man City last season and has been ‘frozen out’ at the Club. He is constantly being linked with moves away from the club, despite his agent reiterating his desire to remain at City. The Bosnian International started the season excellently, scoring in the first game of the season against Swansea and running riot at Spurs, with 4 breathtaking goals. As Mario Balotelli returned from Injury, Dzeko began to sit on the bench a little and sat on it even more when Tevez returned. Nevertheless, he still made a huge contribution to City’s title win, scoring 14 goals, providing 3 assists and helping City on their way to Premier League glory by grabbing the equalizer against QPR. Dzeko would be an ideal replacement for Ibrahimovic, because he is born to score goals, he may not be the most technically gifted of players but he has the natural instinct and knows where the goal is, your typical fox in the box. With either Robinho, Pato, Cassano or El Shaarawy behind him, feeding him and giving him service, he’d score goals for fun. Its just a matter of signing him that is difficult, Juventus are also interested in acquiring the former Wolfsburg man and he may not even to want to leave City. He is the perfect man for Milan but its a question of whether they can bring him in.
Leandro Damiao is another player that would be ideal for the Rossoneri, but yet again its whether he is available as Internacional’s president Giovanni Luigi has made it clear that he is not for sale. He would offer something very different to the side, as he is a rather old fashioned striker who thrives on top quality service. He is an exceptional striker, who has good movement and can finish clinically. He would fit in nicely at the San Siro, but again it is whether a transfer can be secured.
Tevez was very close to signing for Milan in January, but a transfer couldn’t be agreed as Milan were put off by City’s asking price. It still seems very unlikely for Tevez to join now, especially with him now returning to city and apologizing to Roberto Mancini. Milan are still interested in signing the Argentine, realistically though, they simply can’t afford his transfer fee or his wages, he has always been a successful player wherever he has played and won over the fans, he is a top, top player and it would be outstanding to sell Ibra and bring in Tevez as his replacement, but I honestly cannot see that happening.
Milan really need to act swiftly to bring in a replacement for Ibrahimovic or hope that one of their own players can shine as from next season, or else they will begin to slowly melt and fade away from the giant Club that they are, it was a very bad decision to agree to sell 2 of your most important players and they must redeem themselves by buying a big, top class striker, if they don’t I really can’t see them challenging for Top 4 in Serie A, never mind the title.