To say that Luka Jovic has not hit the ground running at AC Milan would be a bit of an understatement, although opportunities await for him to finally make his mark.
La Gazzetta dello Sport (as seen in the photo below) write how Stefano Pioli will have to do without Olivier Giroud for the next two Serie A matches as he serves a suspension, and that means Jovic will be called upon to contribute.
So far he has done little of that. The Serbian striker has played seven games, two of which were starts, and he was replaced at half-time in the last one. No goals, no assists, no appearances in the Champions League.
In the 223 minutes on the pitch he has had two shots, neither on target. Jovic has a gross salary of €2.6m for the season, which is €217k per month, meaning that in the five months of the season so far his rate is about €500k per shot.
He was a free transfer which means that it was always a low-risk gamble for Milan, but so far there have been zero returns. That said, he has a double opportunity to start repaying the trust shown by the club as Giroud’s suspension frees up space in the area.
Pioli must decide whether to relaunch Jovic, who has the characteristics of a pure centre-forward, or focus on Noah Okafor against Fiorentina and Frosinone, while it is worth noting La Viola are Jovic’s former club.
To get off the mark the former Eintracht Frankfurt man will have to participate more in the attacking play overall, free himself in the area and finally shoot with precision, the easiest tasks for a striker which Jovic has not yet managed to perform.
After exploding at Eintracht Frankfurt the move to Real Madrid for €60m seemed to be a step too far too soon, and after a bit of a recovery at Fiorentina (13 goals in all competitions last season) Milan seemed to be the ideal launching pad.
Milan chose him after having to cross a series of targets off the list, Mehdi Taremi above all, and that is why the Serbia international arrived few hours before the close of the summer transfer window. Could he be the first to leave in January? It will depend on his performance.
Jovic’s contract expires in June 2024 and for Pioli he remains a player who ‘if in shape’ can be useful to the cause, or even something more: “He knows how to play football, he will be able to give us some satisfaction.”