AC Milan secured the services of Marko Lazetic from Red Star as the 18-year-old striker becomes the latest player to join the Rossoneri who is labelled as having big potential.
In a statement on their official website, the Rossoneri confirm that Lazectic has signed a contract with the club which will run until 30 June 2026. He joins with little first team experience under his belt, but he is very highly rated by those in his own country and will no doubt be eager to arrive and repay the faith of the management.
Milan have got the signing of Lazetic completed on a deal until 2026. What is the player’s background and how quick has his rise been?
“When he appeared in the youth school of the Red Star, stories began that such a talent had not been seen since Luka Jović. He was destroying his peers. I’m not just talking about goals, he demonstrated incredible technical qualities. He also did that at numerous tournaments abroad.
“He quickly started playing with older guys and he did it very successfully. It was known that Red Star would transfer him to the first team, and that he will go for big money in Serbian terms. He has a perfect body when it comes to the requirements of modern football, he plays with both feet and manages well in a small space. He doesn’t look for space on his hips, and he likes to conquer space with dribbles.”
In your opinion, does he play best as a lone striker and could he fit into our 4-2-3-1?
“As a member of the youth team and later in the system of Dejan Stanković, he played as the only forward. In the coming years, I expect him to further improve and act as a withdrawn striker. It has a good overview of the game, and as I wrote with his technique and the game in a small space.
“However, they should not immediately expect more perfect games in Milan. He is an inexperienced player. He played only 14 games for Red Star. Darko Kovacevic and Vlada Avramov talked a lot about him, but one should be careful. Italy and Milan are completely different dimensions. Some Serbian players did not manage [to make the leap]…”
What are Lazetic’s strengths and weaknesses and is there a current player you would compare him to? The Italian press have got carried away with Vlahovic comparisons…
“I have already written about virtues. He has serious skills, especially when it comes to technique. He directly attacks space and the goal. Like Vlahović, he was dominant in the youth categories.
“And there is another very similarity with Vlahović: he has a strong ego and personality, sometimes he is selfish, he likes to be the boss of the team. He will not be allowed to do that in Milan. At least while Ibrahimović is there!”
Does Lazetic have the potential to become a top striker on the European scene?
“He has incredible potential, but that doesn’t mean he will be a top striker. He will have to get used to new requests, to wait for a chance, it would be good for him to get minutes in the Primavera. It is good for Milan that he has not finished his development yet.
“His body can become even stronger, and reach the level of Zlatan’s. But he has a long, long way to go. However, the scouts of Milan, as well as Paolo Madini, spoke positively about him, and Moncada. Dario Šimić says that enough.”
Is he ready to make the jump to Serie A and were other clubs interested?
“He is not ready to be the first striker right away, not at all, but he could be a positive surprise. Red Star had an offer from Torino, RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg inquired, but Milan were the most concrete.
“Lazetic will have to change his mentality, to understand that he is coming to a cruel world. Many from Serbia did not know that. He will have to raise the level of professionalism, and learn from the example of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.”
Finally, does €5m represent a potential bargain for Milan?
“Milan got great talent for little money. This is no risk for a club of this size. Now it’s all up to Lažetić. I am convinced that he will go through difficult periods, but I hope that he will make a top career. Because I repeat, he has it all.
“Top body for modern football, technique, he can play with both feet. He also scores goals with his head. But he is not a finished product, Milan fans must understand that. He will certainly not get a chance this season and score two goals, for example, against Juventus or Inter.”