Arkadiusz Milik 22 Striker Napoli Poland
How do we say this without looking smug? Hmm. We can’t really, so we’ll just come out with it. In last year’s profile for the 100 we said this;
“…if he carries on progressing at the same rate and continues to enjoy his football, he’ll eventually be a €30m+ level world class striker…”
Now some people didn’t believe us when we said that, but we’ve always been Milik-believers. Now into his third (and final) year on the 100 he has that €30m+ move, he has moved to a huge club and he has a real chance to prove himself to be world class. We know he’s currently injured but we’re not interested in the next six months here, we’re looking at the next six years.
2016 has been…
…good overall highlighted by how well he took to Italy, but then bookended with that horrible injury.
When that knee ligament went it was a crying shame. Here was a player coming off the back of a really good year with Ajax in which he scored his highest ever number of goals, he impressed at the Euros (despite one or two glaring misses in truth) and then he got that move to be Higuaín’s replacement in Naples. He took to it really well, the goals flowed (seven in nine games) and everything was coming up Milhouse.
The injury stopped everything dead in its tracks and when he returns it may be a while before he finds himself back in the sort of form he was beforehand, but we hope he gets there as soon as possible. We are unashamedly huge Milik fans, and seeing him at Napoli, a club with which we obviously have an affinity, has been lovely so far. More of the same please.
Recovery, full we hope with all lasting issues gone, and then all systems go again.
One of the reasons we like Milik so much is because whilst incredibly raw he does have it all - touch, pace, finishing - and he looks natural doing it. Some footballers have to constantly apply themselves to learn their craft, Milik very much looks like he needs to just keep refining his gifts, smoothing off the rough edges and he’ll keep improving.
The great Polish superstar is, of course, that chap at Bayern, but don’t kid yourself Milik is too far behind him and at a similar age Lewy was at a very similar level. We don’t know where Milik’s career goes from here and as he’s already shown he’s not a player who’s afraid to move for better opportunities - to be frank he could end up anywhere. We’ll be watching for fun now he’s too old for the 100 and believe us, we will still be watching too because he’s a player who does perhaps the single hardest thing to do - unites the IBWM editing team.
Not quite there yet but not far off, might be quite special for a good chunk of his career.
B Could have been an A but for that horrible injury, please come back fully, we love you just the way you are
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