On August 25, one of the longest sagas in Italian football ended – Juventus signed Arkadiusz Milik. This was done on a cheap one-year lease, but with the prospect of a permanent transfer for only 7 million euros.
The Bianconeri have been chasing the Pole since 2020, but let’s break down why Arek is actually so good. It would fit perfectly in the iconic scene from the movie Eurotrip, the one where the characters use the Khrushchev catchphrase: “Lord, help us! We are in Eastern Europe”. He smoked, stole and was fit to join teenage gangs even in elementary school. But everything changed by accident. A local coach saw Milik in the schoolyard playing “wall”. His solid shots shocked the specialist and he gave him a way into football.
The left leg changed Arek’s life. He was nothing special, not a sprinter, no technique and after a short period of emulating Cristiano Ronaldo, he gave up on tricks and dribbling. He only beat him in the punches. But he mastered them so well that the coaches put up with the rest.
But that wasn’t enough for him in the Bundesliga, where he played for Bayer Leverkusen and Augsburg. Defenders easily figured him out and this led him to try his luck at Ajax. And here the Pole was lucky for the second time. The attackers coach in Amsterdam was Dennis Bergkamp, a man who knows everything about football.
The legend immediately notices that Milik doesn’t need to throw punches. “He has a unique left foot, very accurate and strong. He can score from any position.”
And the Dutchman focused on other components of Milik’s game – learning to move properly, technique, positioning and turned him into a true goalscorer. His goals per game rate immediately rises from 0.2% to 0.6%. Arkadiusz admits. “Working with Bergkamp is a real gift! He gave me technique, taught me how to handle the ball, gave me a lot of advice and had a big impact on my game”.
Denis created today’s Milik. A well trained and intelligent striker with a fearsome shot. It is the shot that masks his flaws and simplifies his game. Proof of this are two of his many goals. Against Parma in 2018, Milik doesn’t have the speed to outrun a defender but blasts the keeper with an incredibly powerful shot.
In February 2019, he went face to face with the goalkeeper. Most attackers would have gone for a dribble, but Arek shot it away with a powerful stick. Note the power of his punch…
Milik’s stats are often underestimated. He is very productive, but the problem is his frequent and serious injuries. Ronaldo and Messi have set the bar high, and Milik’s 156 goals don’t look like a feat. Most of Arek’s goals came after training with Bergkamp (140 in 308 games), but he rarely took penalties. In the last 6 years, the Pole has maintained a pace of 0.53% goals in 90 minutes without penalties. In comparison, Karim Benzema’s figure is 0.57%.
In terms of minutes for a goal without a penalty, Milik has overtaken Ronaldo in the Calcio – 28 goals in 148 minutes compared to 35 goals in 160 minutes for Cristiano. In terms of control, Bergkamp told him. “You already know everything about kicking. Focus on the technique. If you control the ball well, in the end you become more dangerous,” said Milik, after which he revealed some of the legend’s exercises. “Sometimes we lit candles to dribble between them with one touch. Dennis made it so easy“. And apparently the Pole is a good student because he has a goal like Bergkamp’s (p.s.: see the video below).
But Milik is not a superstar and is unlikely to displace the £80m Dusan Vlahovic from the starting line-up. But the two are different and can play together on the pitch, something Max Allegri also said. Arek will fit in very well at Juve because of the team’s problems, some of which he can fill.
The only real risk is injuries. In the last 3 years, Milik missed 259 days, and now he will train under Allegri… Even his status as a rotational hitter is unlikely to keep him injury-free. But when he is healthy, Juve will definitely not regret the transfer.
Material from Sports.ru, translation from Gol.bg