Among the stars that are playing in the Serie A like Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, there is a new youngster emerging from the crowd that is making quite a name for himself, and that man is AC Milan’s star striker Krzysztof Piątek.
You might be thinking to yourself, who on earth is this guy? Believe me, I was saying the same thing before this season. Early on in the season, he had a solid start, sharing spots on the leading goal-scoring list with Ronaldo and Fabio Quagliarella. He then signed a deal with AC Milan in January for a reported €35 million after he proved to be one of the best and most consistent strikers this season. In his debut game, he played 19 minutes as a substitute for Patrick Cutrone, another name on Milan’s long list of young talents. Three days later, he started and within the first 30 minutes, he scored 2 goals to put the game away, earning himself a ton of recognition and praise from the Rossoneri fans, as well as a semi-final position in the competition. Now, he has a combined 20 goals in 29 games across all competitions, including his games played in Genoa before the New Year. With his goal against Udinese on April 2nd, he overtakes Cristiano Ronaldo on the leading goalscorers list.
Piątek’s senior soccer career started slowly in 2013 with Polish side Zaglebie Lubin. He played a combined 159 minutes across 4 matches, scoring none. Next season, he played 34 games and scored 9–not the best ratio for an attacker. His next few seasons remained consistent, not necessarily proving his worth too much. But after he signed for Genoa for €4.5 million, he has been tearing up the Italian soccer scene. He scored 13 goals in the first 19 games, taking him to the New Year, where AC Milan was very interested in signing him. They agreed to pay €35 million for him, and in his first 8 games for the club, he scored 7 goals.
Ever since Piątek joined Milan, the team morale has been boosted noticeably. Milan`s last strikers, such as Gonzalo Higuain and Carlos Bacca, didn’t play well at all, and this position has been a hot topic for the club and their supporters. Young striker Patrick Cutrone was a hit in the earlier stages of the season until his form dropped slightly, which made fans demand for a better striker in order to place higher in the table and in competitions. Seeing as Piątek was performing very well near the New Year, Milan decided to pull the trigger and buy him for €35 million.
Piątek is the newest striker in a club which historically had amazing strikers, such as Filippo Inzaghi, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Andriy Shevchenko, so Piątek has been compared many times to these legends. But Shevchenko has played down any comparisons between the two, while praising Piątek and his abilities. “When he got to AC Milan, he adapted immediately to the new club. He is scoring a lot but he’s making clear to everyone he’s a real striker, a natural talent,” Shevchenko said. With these words as well as encouragement from other legends of the game and a ton of praise from AC Milan’s fanbase, Piątek is on his way to leave a long-lasting mark on this club, as well as the league.
Milan is set to play the legendary side Juventus on Saturday, April 6, a team that is in 1st place. This game is very highly important, since Milan could potentially use this game to get points, used to leapfrog Inter for 3rd place. It is also a big chance for Piątek to show his worth against a team that is in-form in recent weeks. Juventus won the league seven times consecutively, which will prove to be a hard challenge for Piątek, since Juve’s defence is well-known to be one of the best in Europe. They will then play mid-tier and low-tier teams for the remainder of the season, which are the perfect conditions for Piątek to shine, and prove to not only Italy, but all of Europe and the world, what a world-class striker he is capable of being.