Matri plays devil’s advocate in Zirkzee debate: “A striker with 20-30 goals”

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan are expected to reinforce the squad with a striker in the summer and Bologna’s Joshua Zirkzee has been heavily linked with them. However, as argued by Alessandro Matri, the Rossoneri need a different profile. 

Olivier Giroud isn’t getting any younger at 37 years old and given that his contract will expire, he could leave Milan in the summer. A replacement will thus be needed and Geoffrey Moncada is monitoring several names for the role, including Joshua Zirkzee.

The Bologna striker scored against Milan in the 2-2 draw on Saturday evening and after the clash, Alessandro Matri shared his thoughts on the pursuit of a striker. The former Milan striker played devil’s advocate as he urged the Rossoneri to sign someone else.

“If I had money to invest on the transfer market, I would aim for a striker with 20-30 goals. In my opinion, Milan need this. Giroud will turn 39 next year, the other big teams in our league have players who score 25-30 goals per season.

“Milan need a striker who can provide them with these numbers. I don’t question the qualities of Zirkzee, I’m not saying he isn’t worthy of Milan, but I would focus on a certainty for that role” he said as cited by MilanNews.

Stefano Pioli heaped praise on Zirkzee in his post-match interview and Billy Costacurta also said that Milan are missing a player like the Dutchman. Most likely, everything will depend on who will be the manager for the Rossoneri next season.

Tags AC Milan Alessandro Matri Joshua Zirkzee


  1. Indeed, Milan first need a striker who can score on a regular basis (c.f. Lautaro and Vlahovic). Someone of the kind of Ibrahimovic. Zirkzee is a talent but he is more suitable as a winger than as a central striker. He can’t and will never be able to score 20-30 goals a season.

      1. He does not need to be scoring 20-30 goals now. He needs to be young and have the talent to develop into a 20-30-goals striker. Such a player could cost around 35-50 million, and could be worth the investment.

          1. That’s why capable strikers are sold with massive price tags. They are important but rare in number. From young prospects who can be bought within a reachable price range for Milan, I see as worth looking at Karim Konate, Benjamin Sesko and Armando Broja. They are raw talent but the potential is large. The most promising talent is, IMO, Mathys Tel but he is more expensive and it is doubtful he would accept to leave Bayern.

        1. 100 percent correct. We need a PROVEN goal scorer. Not always prospects that MAY develop into a consistent proven goal scorer. BUT that is the problem with owners like Redbird. They are more concerned with the RESALE value of a player rather than when they can do for us now. That is great from an economical point of view (assuming they develop) BUT that doesn’t help us WIN NOW necessarily. Unfortunately it’s not surprising at all. Top 4 each year is the goal of Redbird to keep that $$ rolling in. Anything else, like a trophy is gravy but not the ultimate goal. Moneyball

  2. The cheapest one that can get such numbers is Guirassy. Zirkzee is a promising player, but, relying on him to get 20-30 goals, would be asking too much. He would be a good addition to the team as a supporting striker, but, with Man U and other teams lurking, I don’t think Milan would be able to afford him, with the way he is going.

    1. Guirassy is a dubious one and needs to prove himself. He is 27 and before this season he had never been a regular goalscorer. Not even an attractive prospect. He came from nowhere this season and made lots of goals and then started to slow down. In the last 6 matches he has scored 3 goals, of which only one is not from the penalty spot. To judge a striker one needs to take into account how much he has scored without penalties. I think it is better to invest and develop one high-quality talent than to buy a dubious 27 years old. At least when funds are not available for buying 2 strikers.

  3. “Zee” package costs a lot but also delivers in many aspects that we need. Height, strength on the ball, good feet, mobility and so on. And it comes with a price tag. That’s how strikers work. You have to be willing to shell out for one.

    Of course Milan can try a “cheaper” option no one has heard of. maybe it will work out, maybe it will not, but we’re just wasting time, and to remain competitive in Europe and domestically, we’ll need a signing of intent or two.

    Now the rumors are starting back up about PSG’s interest in Leao when M’Bappe inevitably leaves, and when the Dollar signs start ringing, doubt Furlani can turn it down.

    So Leao leaves, and maybe we can afford Zee and Motta, and a couple of additions in midfield and defense.

    1. Zirkzee does not cost a lot. His release clause is 40 million, which is a relatively low price for the quality offered. Players of his level usually cost around 60-70 million.

      1. I don’t disagree, but Milan has strict budget parameters. I don’t know that 40mil is a feasible number. Although if you believe reports, they are interested in David who costs as much with arguably less potential…

        If leao is sold this summer, I’d love to get our hands on Zee. I liked what I saw out of him.

        1. My impression is that Milan will sell one of their most valuable players in the summer to gain some money for the transfer market. It is not a bad strategy as long as Italian teams are not able to earn more money through marketing in and outside Europe. I reckon Milan plan to spend 40-50 million for a striker, given the rumours about Zirkzee and Jonathan David.

  4. Zee has all the qualities of a good 2nd striker ( I like his skill set). I would definitely go with him but then change the format and play with 2 strikers upfront. If Leao is sacrificed we might as well change to a 4 4 2 formation and pair Zee with another quality poacher.

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