Ahhh, transfer season. Don’t you just love it when you’ve been praying for action to return for the last few months, only to immediately overlook it when it returns in favour of speculating where players may move to instead?
Well if you do, you’re in the right place. Because we’re here to talk about the future of Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik, who looks likely to leave the club – according to Football Italia at least – if he fails to agree an extension to his contract that expires this summer.
Naturally, links with other clubs have been touted here, there and everywhere, with Juventus and Atletico Madrid among those linked with a move for the Pole. But it’s Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton’s names that have really caught 90min‘s eye, as speculation mounts over a possible Premier League switch.
So with those names in mind, we’ve decided to assess where he could and should go this summer, were he to make the trip to England.
With long-term target Timo Werner set to join Chelsea, Liverpool could turn their attentions towards Milik, who represents a cheaper, slightly older but still prolific option for the Reds. Indeed, the Polish striker hasn’t quite got the same goals-to-games ratio as Werner, but has still been Napoli’s top goalscorer over the last two seasons – racking up 32 goals in 69 appearances since the beginning of the 2018/19 season.
What could deter Milik from a potential move to Liverpool, however, is the fact he may have to compete with Roberto Firmino for a spot in the centre of the Reds’ front-three. At the age of 26, Milik might feel that he has reached his peak and will be searching for a team where he can be a guaranteed starter.
He also doesn’t quite possess the same speed that Timo Werner has either, with Liverpool’s pursuit of the German perhaps indicating that they’re looking for pace up top – something Milik doesn’t have much of.
Not the right fit.
Tottenham have been crying out for a decent back-up striker for years – especially with Harry Kane’s recent injury woes – and Milik might represent a possible solution for Jose Mourinho’s side.
With Milik’s contract expiring at the end of next season, the notoriously tight Daniel Levy might feel he could get the Polish striker for a cut-price fee. What could be the stumbling block for a potential move to north London is the fact that Mourinho prefers to play with one striker at Tottenham, meaning that, if the prolific Kane is fit, Milik will be warming the bench.
Ideal backup-striker for Tottenham? Sure. Would Milik mind playing second-fiddle to Kane? Probably not. After all, concerns over playing time is reportedly the main reason behind the Polish striker wanting to leave Napoli.
Both Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have been linked with moves away from the Emirates this summer, and Milik could be a realistic and fairly cheap replacement for either of those two.
Lacazatte and Aubameyang share similar traits: they’re fast, they’re strong and they’re deadly in front of goal. Milik possesses both strength and finishing ability but is noticeably slower than Lacazette and Aubameyang, meaning he might not be the perfect replacement should either of them depart north London.
Another issue is the potential lack of European football. Arsenal currently sit three points off seventh, meaning they face the very real prospect of missing on European football for the first time since 1996. Mikel Arteta’s side are still very much in the race, but should they fail, Milik might want to move elsewhere.
All of that aside, Milik’s natural goalscoring ability would make him a more than adequate signing for the Gunners.
Ever since rumours of a Saudi-backed takeover at Newcastle United have emerged, gossip columns have been flooded with rumours linking Europe’s top players with a move to Tyneside. Should this takeover be approved, strengthening their attack will be a top priority.
Steve Bruce’s strikers have struggled for goals this season – out of the five strikers he has fielded, four goals have been scored between them. So it’s clear that Newcastle are going to need a prolific striker if they are to once again compete with the Premier League big boys, and Milik represents a smart, feasible option for the Magpies.
He’ll be one of the first names of the teamsheet, and would probably get paid handsomely – something which might tempt Milik to switch Naples for Newcastle. If he does, the Polish striker might just be the ideal solution to the Magpies’ goalscoring woes.
After his first two seasons at Napoli were marred by injuries, Milik finally found his form following the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti in 2018, going from making just 40 appearances in his first two seasons to 47 in his third, scoring 20 goals in the process.
From this, it’s evident that Ancelotti likes the striker, and a reunion between Milik and the Italian – now managing Everton – could be a match made in heaven. The Toffees need a striker to partner Richarlison, despite Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s recent form, and Milik represents a realistic option for the Merseyside club.
The lack of European football might be off-putting, but Ancelotti’s recent appointment at Everton was a statement of intent, and that might be attractive to Milik. The Italian also knows how to get the best out of the Polish striker, and might well feel he could replicate his prolific form at Napoli with the Toffees.