Matias Zaracho is a player that Milan have been linked with since the 2019 summer transfer window. With the agent of the player the same as that of Angel Correa and Rodrigo De Paul, rumours have been awash about the Rossoneri possibly making a bid.
With Milan looking for value for money signings, adding Zaracho would help the team to shore up its quality while also representing an investment for the future.
The 22-year-old would represent a low-cost signing from the Argentinian league and could be an inspired piece of business like rivals Inter pulled off when they signed Lautaro Martinez from the same club Racing.
Here, Rohit Rajeev provides a tactical analysis of why Zaracho would be a good addition for Milan…
Club: Racing Club
Height: 1.71 metres
Transfermarkt Value: €15.5m
It is important to highlight Zaracho’s versatility as an indicator of how wide-ranging his skill set is. In their previous season Racing played in a 4-1-3-2 formation which shifted into a 4-2-3-1 at times. Zaracho was deployed across the triumvate but mostly played on the right.
Under new coach Sebastin Becacecce – who plays a 4-4-1-1 which changes to a 4-3-3 – Zaracho occupies an inside forward role on the right.
Style of play
Having started his career as a right back, Zaracho was then moved into advanced positions by his coaches due to his performances up the other end of the pitch.
He is an intelligent ball-playing midfielder that can play as a makeshift right winger or as an attacking midfielder. His tactical discipline and his intelligence makes him a success in whichever part of the field he is deployed.
Zaracho is a player that has unbridled bounds of energy and hence brings a lot of box-to-box running and has exceptional endurance and stamina.
He is described as a ’60kg tractor’ as he can be seen physically wrestling balls from opposition players. A player like Zaracho could be a blessing for any manager as it gives him a lot of options.
The most important trait an attacking midfielder should have is their passing. Zaracho has a pass completion of 87% in the average 38 he plays per game, of which 7.56 are forward passes.
These passes include short passes, long vertical passes to start counter attacks, as well as distribution of balls and switches of play. Playing as winger, Zaracho also has good crossing ability to find his teammates.
Zaracho also has the ability to slide defence splitting through balls to his forward players. While he is in opposition final third, the youngster makes very few mistakes due to his excellent decision making.
He also puts himself in areas that allow him to score, by presenting himself as a good cut-back option while the ball is out wide, making late and well-timed runs into the box.
Zaracho has good close control and carries the ball well, plus he has the ability to beat his man in 1-on-1.
Zaracho is a very tenacious player, so whenever Racing lose the ball he is one of the first players to try and win the ball back. He often wins a lot of tackles in the opponent’s half and is not afraid to press, which means he could be an ideal fit for Pioli.
He averages around 7.29 ball recoveries per game and wins a lot of tackles in the opposition final third, which helps to break into counter-attacks.
Areas to improve
Matias Zaracho lacks a lot in aerial ability due to his short frame. He does win headers but he does not dominate aerially like other players, and unless he has a late growth spurt this is unlikely to change.
Zaracho also has to fine-tune the physical side of the game as he can be seen going into challenges a bit too aggressively and giving away fouls. He also needs to up his pass completion rate to really find the next level as a sharp, ball-moving, dynamic and versatile option.
Zaracho is one of the brightest upcoming talents in Argentina, and with a release clause of only €25m he is a target for many clubs other than Milan.
Shifting from Argentina to Serie A would be a real task, but if he settles like Lautaro has at Inter then the Rossoneri will have a versatile midfielder in their ranks for years to come.