AC Milan have been left a bit short of options in their attacking department once again, as yesterday’s friendly against Liverpool showerd.
La Gazzetta dello Sport report that Milan’s two defeats to Arsenal and Liverpool in the Dubai Super Cup mean next to nothing given the circumstances, but Divock Origi’s muscle injury is bad news. Stefano Pioli hoped to have him in perfect shape when the season resumes on January 4 against Salernitana, but now we must wait and see if he will be available at all.
That means Pioli will lean on Olivier Giroud against. The Frenchman hasn’t missed a beat so far and seems to be living a second youth, having netted four goals at the World Cup with France and on the verge of winning the tournament again. Mentally he may be 100%, but physically his return will have to be managed with care and attention.
Origi would have been the right man to allow Giroud to be brought back gradually, but his physical issues continue. Having recovered from the injury he had been carrying around since the end of his time with Liverpool, he was warming up in Dubai to finally be the protagonist but now has a flexor issue that halts all momentum.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has admitted that there is no set date for his return to the field and that hurrying things would be a mistake as he could suffer a complication that – at the age of 41 – could be very problematic.
All of the above means there is currently not a senior striker who would be ready if there were a friendly tomorrow. Marko Lazetic is growing and looked bright in parts of his start against Liverpool, but he is an 18-year-old with a long way to go.
Ante Rebic also knows how to play as a striker, but he doesn’t always guarantee continuity of performance and physically he has had chronic problems that always put him at risk of suddenly missing games.
Rafael Leao and Charles De Ketelaere know how to operate as ‘false nine’ type players yet it is certainly not their specialty. Giroud is the best solution to every problem, but for this very reason he must be protected and there must be other solutions.
Plain and simple: Origi is a joke.