With news fast approaching of a total revolution in the sporting area of Milan led by Ralf Rangnick, Milan have been much liked AZ Alkaamar striker Myron Boadu.
Boadu has had a phenomenal season so far until corona put an end to the season. Here, Rohit Rajeev provides a tactical analysis of Boadu and how he could fit in at Milan.
Club: AZ Alkamaar
AZ Alkmaar are one of the best academies in the Netherlands at present. Having produced some of the best players in the league, they are currently reaping the reward with a number of academy products now in their first team.
Boadu however has been marred by injuries in his short career so far. He has had three major injuries and it have slowed momentum regarding his progress, but he is beginning to find his feet again.
Style of play
Boadu is a strong and pacy striker. These traits help him to play as a lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 formation. Boadu isn’t a complete forward like Lewandowski or an Ibrahimovic, but he is very similar to a predatorial No.9 – a ‘fox in the box’ type player. Using his physical virtues Boadu can often link up play well and dribble, which makes him a useful forward to have in a lone striker formation
Every great striker’s main attribute will be how he positions himself. Alkmaar’s coach Arne Slot predominantly uses the 4-2-3-1 formation. If you see heat map of his recent games, we can see straight away that Boadu’s shots are overwhelmingly from inside the box.
In the recent game against Heracles, Alkamaar played a 4-2-3-1 system. In the image below, Boadu plays between the 2 main centre-backs while other defensive midfielders deal with Alkmaar’s attacking setup. Once the transition is over, Boadu moves in between the centre-backs to wait for crosses from the wide players.
In this game against ADO Den Haag, Boadu can be seen linking up with his midfield. He drops in which pulls the defenders out of position which helps create space for the attacking players to run into
In a 4-3-3 where he is accompanied by 2 flank players, Boadu is the highest point of the trident and they press together leaving no space for the opposition defenders to pass and make mistakes. Pressing, of course, is a key part of prospective next boss Ralf Rangnick’s philosophy.
Dribbling and movement
Boadu has a partnership with Alkmaar winger and prospect Clavin Stengs, and the duo compliment each other well. In this game against PSV (which they won 4-0), Boadu scored the third goal with the help of Stengs. The wide man runs at pace with the ball and Boadu matches it, running behind the defenders which allows Stengs to release him with a through ball before the finish.
Boadu has nimble feet which makes him comfortable with dribbling inside the box and in midfield. He also combines movement well with dribbling due to his excellent touch.
Boadu amassed 20 goals and 13 assists in 2019-20 for AZ before the Coronavirus stopped the season early, making a total goal contribution tally of 33.
How he could fit Rangnick’s system
Usually Rangncik plays a two-striker formation with one striker dropping deeper and a No.9 feeding off the second striker. At Leipzig, Werner fulfils the role of the second striker while Poulsen plays the role of the No.9.
Although Boadu is younger and less experienced, his predatory instincts make him a good fit for the role in the system. With his skillset and his excellent link up he can link up with a second striker in Leão or Rébic and carry forward Milan’s quick counter attacks as dictated by the Gegenpress.
In short, if this is a player that Rangnick has hand picked and approves, it is likely for a very good reason.