Jovic or Okafor: What Pioli must consider ahead of Milan-Fiorentina

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan will take on Fiorentina after the break and after claiming two points in four games, they cannot afford to drop more points. This means that Stefano Pioli’s selection will have to be spot on, otherwise the Rossoneri could find themselves in a tough situation. 

Since Olivier Giroud is suspended, and Rafael Leao is injured, the main focus will certainly be on the attack. Christian Pulisic is an excellent replacement for the Portuguese winger on the left flank, but the No.9 position is a big question mark for the manager.

Noah Okafor sounds like a no-brainer under the circumstances, but the international break has made the evaluation slightly more complex for Pioli. Luka Jovic has been at his disposal at Milanello and will have a lot more energy, but what is the right decision?

Jovic is a wildcard

The Serbian striker arrived from Fiorentina this summer and he’s yet to find the back of the net for the Rossoneri. In addition to the latter, he has not impressed in the play when given the chance either, making life incredibly difficult above all for Giroud.

However, the feeling is that the goal is bound to come. There’s always a discussion about how many chances a player should be given, but considering Milan’s situation, there’s no doubt that Jovic will get more chances to prove his value.

Giroud will not just miss the game against Fiorentina, but also the game against Frosinone which (hopefully) will come with a lot less pressure. If not against La Viola, his former club, then he should get the chance against the newly-promoted side.

A lot will depend on the next seven days. If Jovic can impress in training and show that his physical condition has improved massively, then Pioli could decide to give him the chance. It would certainly be special if he were to score his first goal for Milan against Fiorentina, where it didn’t end well for him.

Then again, as has been the case all season, putting Jovic on the pitch is a real gamble and one could even argue that it’s a poor decision. But even if we factor in the struggles he has had in recent years, he has still scored a decent amount of goals along the way.

Okafor has impressed before

Unlike Jovic, Okafor has actually done well for Milan, even if a lot more is still expected from him. Both of his goals this season came when he played as a No.9, scoring from inside the box. That alone is a big argument in favour of the Swiss international.

Furthermore, Fiorentina are not exactly a side that tend to sit back and defend against the big sides. They want to play their game and Milan have had a taste of this in the past against Vincenzo Italiano teams. Having a player like Okafor, with great speed and technique, could thus be very useful.

Okafor’s in-box abilities shouldn’t be underestimated either, as he has decent height and a strong build to his body. Having said that, though, it’s clear that he would be at his best with some space to run into. Being able to combine a lot with the wingers would be a key for him, no doubt.

The 23-year-old is currently on international duty with Switzerland. After starting the game against Israel on Wednesday, there are two more Euro Qualifiers to go (one tonight, in which he’s starting). In short, his condition might not be the best upon returning to Milanello.

He will likely be back at the training ground on Wednesday or Thursday, with the final game scheduled for Tuesday evening. This means he won’t have a lot of time to prepare for the Fiorentina clash, but it might still be enough depending on his condition.

Not to mention that the game against Dortmund three days later is crucial. In case Leao can’t make it for that either, then having a fully-charged Okafor will be important. Giroud is not suspended for that game and the Swiss international could thus start on the left.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Let us know in the comments!

Tags AC Milan Fiorentina Luka Jovic Noah Okafor Stefano Pioli


  1. who wrote this????? Jovic is a wild card??????… its been years since jovic has his once super season… hes been trash for a while….

    There is simply NO WAY Jovic should have more value than even Romero.

    Clearly, no Leao, no Giroud:

    Pulisic for leao, Chuku on the right, NOAh AS 9

  2. Lmao jovic has a chance to prove himself among primavera players,big thing 🤣 it would be the same if there was no international break,he would play jovic because he likes slow no 9 kind of player in attack, its like that since he was apointed as a coach ,switzerland is already on Euro,okafor probably would not play full playtime for them

  3. All you need to know about Okafor, Is during the PSG game, RLC passed the ball to him, and he Complained about the ball on his Left foot, instead of his Right. He skyed the ball, missed the target. that was so embarassing.
    He than took a shot instead of passing to the middle wide open giroud.
    Okafor has a Selfish Personality, but alot of ppl on this team have that.
    Play to his selfish personality.
    Jovic seems to want to play with team.

    Alot of players here cannot play 1-2 wall passes.
    “We bought you to score goals” But noone is scoring with those shots.

  4. Okafor selfish? LOL. Not at all. Jovic want to play with team? Sure, he has NEVER had any motivation issues in his career.

    But thanks for the laughs though. 🙂

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