Sky journalist: Okafor has ‘not integrated’ as Milan search for ‘three pillars’ this summer

By Ben Dixon -

After joining AC Milan in the summer, many were left questioning what role Noah Okafor would play in the squad, given his versatility among the front three. However, it has been a difficult season for him, and a journalist has claimed he has not yet integrated into the squad.

When Okafor joined Milan, the expectations were not for him to instantly come into the starting eleven and play every game far from it. The Swiss forward had limited expectations, given the seniors in his preferred positions are Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud.

However, when he has been offered chances, he has often taken them, providing huge goals in key moments, such as the goal in Udine late on in January and the late equaliser against Sassuolo last month.

Peppe Di Stefano spoke to Sky to evaluate how this summer mercato may go, and his words have been relayed by Radio Rossonera.

“Last year was a market of revolution with 9 operations, including the return of Gabbia. Four players responded positively by playing more than 75% of the matches as starters: Reijnders, Pulisic, Gabbia and Loftus-Cheek.

“Three were below 50%: Musah, Chukwueze and Jovic. Two, on the other hand, played very little: Terracciano did not even play a match as a starter, but that was known given his young age. Somewhat surprising is Okafor. The numbers show how he has not integrated into the connective tissue of the team.

“Three pillars will be needed next summer. Net of disposals, if any, we will need a central defender, Kjaer will leave. Then a central midfielder of depth and quality. And above all, I think it will be the principal blow, Milan will need a new number 9. Olivier Giroud will leave, and the names have been many for months: Milan is following Zirkzee, Sesko [who the club have made made their primary target], and Guirassy.

“The economic availability will have to be understood here. We can talk about anything we want, about the technical characteristics, but it will be necessary to understand what kind of treasure Milan will have or if this will depend on any disposals. We will only understand this when the management makes it clear in the coming weeks during the pre-and post-match interviews what kind of market we will see and what kind of economic investment will be made by Cardinale’s second Milan.

“In this, his second summer market, there can be no more mistakes.”

Tags AC Milan Noah Okafor


      1. It’s a 500 error most likely routed to a poor and inappropriate message.

        I will again offer a couple hours time to work with the technical staff to track it down.

        1. It was not poor or inappropriate.

          This site swallows legit comments all the time. Never in my life have i seen such a poor design when it comes 2 comments

          1. It’s the crap servers that they’re hosted on – cloudflare. I have no idea why they’d chose such a garbage host. They should switch to godaddy. I never had the issues they have when I hosted my own websites.

          2. Poor in that it is happening too often.

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            Cloudflare, GoDaddy and servers are maybe 5% likely to be the issue. It’s probably not infrastructure. Rather it’s more likely (50%) a race condition this in the code. The inappropriate message is 100% the code.

            I see some logs, a systems diagram and maybe some monitoring metrics. Ideally I speak to their team as well. I’m generally paid rather well to do these things. I’m offering it for $Free.99 b/c the likes of @ACM1899, @MaldinisHeir, and @IKWYDLS among others provide me interesting perspectives to learn more about the game, the team and it’s history.

            Y’all know how to find me as you have my email.

  1. Pioli barely played the kid for reasons known only to him, and every time he got a chance, he played well, but he hasn’t integrated.
    Sure thing, Peppe.
    Cassano was right. Some of these coaches got paid journalists to write favorably about them and blame others for their failures.

  2. That’s because Pioli is clueless. Okafor is a Center Forward not winger. He has NEVER PLAYED as a winger in his career before arriving at Milan.

    At RB Salzburg he plays as a striker same for the Swiss national team. It is mind boggling how Pioli consistently plays the players out of their natural position.

    Pulisic is a LW or AM not RW. Musah is a DM not RB or RW. Ruben Loftus Cheek is a mezzla not AM.

    Leao is a winger not a CF. Against Inter it would have made more sense to play Leao at LW, Okafor at CF and Chukwueze at RW and Pulisic at AM.

    I swear to God Pioli is nuts. I can’t wait for him to leave Milan so we can get a competent coach who uses these plays to their strengths instead of forcing them to play out of their natural positions that they are more suited for. Smh

    I am waiting for Sergio Conceicao with open arms.

    1. Okafor is clearly not a pure striker, he needs the ball at his feed and some room in front and some teammates to play to to show his best. He also has more games as winger than as as striker over his whole career.

      Pulisic is playing his best season largely at RW and has played RW a lot before + has great stats there.

      RLC has never looked as good as now at CAM.

      Musah has played a whole season as RW before but I agree when it comes to him, he should play centrally.

    2. The really frustrating thing to me is you are describing a 433.

      Calabria Gabbia Tomori Theo
      Reinjders Puli Musah
      Chuk ok4 Leao

      My only hypothesis is that Pioli needs a target man for whatever he was trying to do.

  3. Pioli is a prime chimp. If he gave the lad a fair chance then he probably would have intergrated and proven his ability and value. Adli was also treated badly along with Gabbia until Pioli had his back against the wall with all his defenders stacked up in the knackers yard.

  4. Peppe you’re drunk, go home. Okafor showed a lot when given proper chance. He was a huge bargain for 15 millions while Chuk who cost 28 millions, has way worse stats but was still given way more opportunities than Okafor. Matter a fact, take Pioli with you, you’re both drunk!

  5. Okafor has shown nothing but class this season. On the pitch he’s pretty much always delivered and he’s never compromised when we and most of the civilised world know he should be playing more

  6. What a joke post 😂

    If Okafor got the same insurance like Giroud and Leao, he would easily had better stats than Giroud and for example Thuram in Inter

  7. Not integrated? Okay, let’s pretend it’s true. Then ask yourself this: whose fault is it? Yep. Pioli’s.

    Just look at the number of (important!) goals he has scored. Tell me he hasn’t deserved more minutes. I dare you.

  8. Integrated is a strange choice of words, perhaps something has been lost in translation.

    But the underlying idea that Okafor isn’t trusted / seen as a viable starter can hardly be challenged, can it?

    Okafor has hardly played.

    I’m not convinced he is more than a player for off the bench. But I also like him as someone to run with the ball in the last 30min of a game.

    1. Okafor already did the best for adaptation as bench player ( he have goal + asistcompare to IM bench player), look at what arnautovic & sanchez do in IM ( they have same position with okafor) . After knock out from UEL , pioli stubborn still play giroud and not giving okafor chance

  9. Okafor has done very well in such little minutes. Personally, I think he could become a lethal number 9 if Pioli trusted him over Grioud

  10. 3 pillars 🤣🤣🤣 are you kidding, even your Reijnders & Loftus Cheek are fodders, we need :

    -2 midfielder : 1 DM + 1 Box to box (a real one, not a Moneyball as Tijani/RLC)

    – 1 striker + 1 offensive midfielder, the one who can perform better than Pulisic, in high stake matches

    -1 true CB, who doesn’t struggle in the air while being poor at passing, like Tomori

    1. This is not Real Madrid or manc city that can buy expensive player. All your desire will need minimum 200m euro and maybe more . All serie A club can only get cheap player

  11. In my opinion : Okafor has been doing better than lazy Leao when he got the chance to play. Sloth Leao should be benched ans Okafor should start the remaining games

    1. Okafor has been great. The problem is Leao always plays when he is fit, and if Pioli subs him Leao usually acts petulant. As much as I want Pioli gone, Leao has put Pioli in a difficult place because no manager wants to annoy his best player. So even when Leao deserves to be subbed he has rarely been subbed, so Okafor has had trouble getting minutes.

      It would have been great for Okafor to get some minutes at the 9 too, especially recently has Giroud’s form has dipped and Jovic wasn’t available, but most of the problem is that Okafor is behind Leao.

  12. I think Okafor has done well given the chances he has had. I like him as a player and he can cover well any of the front three positions. I think we still need a new striker, but hes valuable to the team. Actually, i think rather than replacing Giroud, he would do ok replacing Leao if we have to sell him.

    BTW, i get the ‘posting too quickly’ message often too. It’s sometimes hard to post!

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