Switzerland coach criticises Milan’s handling of Okafor: “Certainly not optimal”

By Oliver Fisher -

The Switzerland head coach Murat Yakin has aimed a thinly veiled dig at AC Milan over their handling of Noah Okafor last season.

Okafor arrived at Milan last summer from Red Bull Salzburg and although it was known that he would be a reserve for both the striker and left wing positions, he still managed six goals and three assists in just over 1,000 minutes.

Now the forward is gearing up for the European Championship with Switzerland, who were drawn in Group A. They face a tough task to get through given they have Germany and Hungary, though they should finish at least above Scotland.

Now, Okafor’s national team coach Yakin has spoken about how he seems in the week before the tournament in Germany and he seemed to criticise Milan’s use of him, with his comments relayed by Radio Rossonera.

“Every move also involves great risks, he is rarely a starter with his club. Especially for a striker, it is important to play and his limited playing time is certainly not optimal,” he said.

“His role? I don’t see him much as a number 9 who has to play with his back to goal. He is at his best when he starts from the outside and cuts inside, his speed is enhanced when he has space in front of him. At the moment he lacks a bit of timing in his movements, some mechanisms need to be oiled.”

Tags AC Milan Murat Yakin Noah Okafor


  1. He’s right. He should have been starting, at least 50% of the games as the number 9. He looked phenomenal off the bench. Give the kid a chance

  2. I like him too but he doesn’t have that quality, he’s not going to start over Leão (obviously) or whoever they get up top. For Milan he can be a key contributor off the bench but unless there’s an injury or transfer that’s his ceiling I think.

  3. Okafor should’ve been given far more games as number 9 the past season. I don’t know why clueless Pioli kept playing Giroud even when he wasn’t performing at all?! So stupid. Hopefully, we will see better handling of Okafor when Fonseca arrives

      1. Is RLC a number 10?

        Okafor is a winger who most of the time played as a 9 for his former club and did very well in that position.

  4. Now Pioli has gone then other players like Okafor will probably get a fair chance.
    I like this player and hope he can show his capability and quality under a new manager.

  5. This guy put Okafor for no reason in two b2b friendlies and pushed him towards injury. Oka was for many weeks on the treatment table and lost many important minutes. Now this da coach got bervs to talk like that. Fo

  6. Just wondering… What do you guys think of this:


    Calabria. Buongiorno. Tomori. HernandeZ

    Loftus,-cheek. Reijnders

    Zirkzee/chukwueze. Leao/okafor

    I know there is no true number 9 in here, but plenty of goal scoring opportunity and creativity… If we lack a true number 9 in certain games, then there is Jovic as secret weapon.

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