MN: From rejecting Man City to embracing Milan – Okafor ready for the next step

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan announced the signing of Noah Okafor from Red Bull Salzburg last weekend, and in doing so they have secured an intriguing talent who was in demand.

As MilanNews writes, Okafor joins Milan for a deal worth between €13-15m and Stefano Pioli has another wild card for his attacking department, given that he can play as a centre-forward, a false nine type and on the left wing too.

He rose to prominence with FC Basel in his native Switzerland in 2018 and after a season and a half – in January 2020 – he moved to Salzburg for €11m in the same window that Erling Haaland went to Borussia Dortmund.

Manchester City wanted to sign Okafor too at that time, but his father advised him to sign for Salzburg, opting for gradual growth rather than risking burning out by going for the big move immediately.

Okafor does not have the numbers of the classic striker because he plays the role in an atypical way, given his technical characteristics. He is more movement and speed-based than an old school centre-forward like Olivier Giroud, for example.

The 23-year-old scored 7 goals and 3 assists in 21 games in the league last season, with a contribution of one goal every 99 minutes. He netted 3 goals in their 6 Champions League group stage matches.

In the previous season, Okafor scored 9 goals in 21 league appearances and added 9 assists, which equated to a goal contribution every 52 minutes played, and he scored 3 goals in 6 Champions League games then too.

Many will also remember the nutmeg on Pierre Kalulu last season and then beating Mike Maignan the same way, which is his skill set in a nutshell.

Tags AC Milan Noah Okafor


  1. That dribble on Kalulu was so embarrassing. Romagnoli has suffered that many times against Dybala, Lukaku….🤣🤣

  2. Out of all the signings I think he’ll suffer the most for game time, regardless of position.
    I think if you’re going to replace Giroud, then go all out to make a proper replacement that can relegate him to the bench (eg Oshimen). otherwise you’ll get an unhappy player subbing for an old vet (yes Giruod will be our starter in the new season not him). And the hope would be that he’ll perform miracles by scoring from the bench all the time. That’s a difficult task which will increasingly frustrate a player on the field. And doesn’t do his young career any good.

    1. You are wrong. He will get his chance because Giroud is not getting any younger. He can’t play many matches next season like he did last season. Aside from that, Leao will need to be rested at some point in other to stay fit and only Okafor and Pulisic can fill in the position.

      1. Ofc I think he will get rotated with Giroud yes. But I don’t think he’ll get as much time as ppl think. Beyond the excitement of getting him, the reality is Giroud is still our undisputed striker. This is why I said if we got a striker that was clearly better than Giroud (eh Oshimen) only then he would have to sit on the bench. Leao doesn’t get injured often but yes he’ll sub in there too. Totalling up, he’s going to get less starts and more sub appearances..hence it would be harder for him to contribute goals or assists (unless he’s like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer). But that’s just my guess.

    2. I tend to disagree as it would seem like that he would be both utilized as a cf and left wing sub and pioli will also be in a position to also give leao a rest if needed so i think he will play his fair share of minutes.

      1. See above Martin. I hv the same response basically. He’s still doing sub appearances whereas he should be at a point where he’s an undisputed starter. He isn’t that anywhere in our team

        You can reply here if u want.

        1. Truth be told im fine with okafor slowly getting integrated as there will be a lot of new players in the squad but as we will compete in 3 competitions i feel fairly confident that he will play a fair ammount of minutes but we doesnt have to agree either but time will tell how it pans out.

    3. U meant Giroud, our main starter? He will be soon preserved on the bench. He is too old and slow to keep up with other younger and faster attackers. He will miss 5 clear chances before he score a simple tap in goal. The last time I saw him, he missed touch a through ball from Reijnders because he couldn’t chase the ball after that. Ridiculously!

      1. Soon? Giroud is old but his pace was never his main asset for scoring, was more positioning. But Okafor is not upsurping him unless he put up such crazy numbers that Pioli has no choice (kinda like with the Thiaw situation).

        See above also, same response applicable here

  3. I think milan still needs a sharp finisher that is younger and stronger.
    Meanwhile, Geroud will need to be rested on bench to give starting playtime for Okafor..

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