GdS: Records broken and the Ibra factor – a journey into Gyokeres’ rise amid Milan links

By Oliver Fisher -

Viktor Gyokeres is very much a name on AC Milan’s list as they look for the right centre-forward ahead of the summer transfer window, according to a report.

La Gazzetta dello Sport confirm that the Sporting CP sensation is one of Milan’s hottest transfer ideas, given that they will have to choose their new number nine for the future in a few months.

The paper have provided a bit of background on Gyokeres including his journey to this point, in addition to a card that the Rossoneri have to play in their favour.

From England to Portugal

Gyokeres is now the top scorer in the Primeira Liga with 22 goals, ahead of Braga’s Simon Banza (19) and Arouca’s Rafa Mujica (16). The Swede has fired Sporting to the top of the league and so far he has scored 36 goals in 39 games.

Having grown up a stone’s throw from Stockholm, he moved to Brighton in 2017, playing mainly with the second team. Then, a one-year loan to St. Pauli in the 2. Bundesliga followed – the German second division – with 7 goals in 28 appearances.

Then he returned to England and a spell at Swansea in the Championship, still disappointing (1 goal in 12 appearances). The turning point of his career? Moving to Coventry in 2021.

The explosion

Everything changed at Coventry, a team where Gyokeres became a fan favourite very quickly because he finally got a run of games and repaid the faith of head coach Mark Robins with goals.

In two seasons in the West Midlands, he amassed 43 goals in 116 appearances, with promotion to the Premier League so close to being achieved.

Instead, the Sky Blues lost the play-off final against Luton Town on penalties. If they had won that game and ended up back in the top flight for the first time in over two decades, things could be different today.

The record move

The exploits on English soil convinced Sporting CP to dip into their wallet for the most important investment in their history, with a check for €20m (plus €4m in various bonuses) to bring him to the banks of the Tagus.

As a result, Gyokeres’ exit was also a major financial injection for Coventry, who hadn’t improved their balance sheet like this since 2000 and the sale of Robby Keane to Inter for around 31 billion lire (now worth about €16m).

The Portuguese club knew they had got a potentially special striker and placed a €100m clause in his contract, but they also know that they will have to deal with his wishes in the event of an offer from the big names in Europe

The ‘Gyokeres mask’

The other great curiosity is given by the fingers intertwined on Viktor’s face after each goal, a singular celebration chosen with the arrival in Lisbon. The ‘Gyokeres mask’ is a mystery in Portugal today.

Although many Sporting fans have tried to understand its meaning, the striker declared between smiles that he will only give the answer at the end of the season and on one condition: winning the title.

Meanwhile, the mask has become a cult and imitators multiply on the provincial fields every weekend.

The idol

Gyokeres was born in Stockholm on June 4, 1998 and grew up like most Swedish children by idolising Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ibra is Gerry Cardinale’s super advisor at Milan at the moment, a potential winning factor in the event of a transfer in the summer, but there is more.

Just a year ago, the two shared the pitch in Sweden-Belgium, a qualifying match for the next European Championship which ended 0-3 with a hat-trick from Lukaku.

That was Ibrahimovic’s last official match, on the pitch from the 28th minute of the second half. Sharing his own department with Gyokeres, a possible heir at San Siro.

Tags AC Milan Viktor Gyökeres

1 Comment

  1. The time to sign him was last year. We need to be looking at the next one, not the guy doing well on a very long contract. See also Joel Piroe, now ripping it up at Leeds. Go have a look at Haji Wright, who replaced Gyokores at Coventry.

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