Tag Archives: Leicester City

Why Leicester City target Arek Milik could star at Euros?

Unfortunately the Netherlands will not be at the European Championships this summer, but that doesn’t mean there is no interest for Dutch fans. A player I expect to breakthrough in France is Arkadiusz Milik, who regular watchers of the Eredivisie will know is a huge talent. He will be leading the line for Poland, alongside the world class striker that is Robert Lewandowski. Although many will see the Bayern striker as the key man for the Poles, it could be Milik’s goals that propel them to have a good tournament. Opposition teams will be so focused on preventing Lewandowski from getting clear cut chances leading to space being left for Milik and that will allow the Ajax striker to thrive says Jake Jackman.

Ajax lost the league title on the final day in unfortunate fashion, but there is a core of youngsters with huge potential. Milik is one of those and he is approaching a crossroads in his career, as a move to a bigger league looks to be on the horizon. In recent days, the English press have linked the striker to Premier League champions Leicester City. It is a move that makes sense for both parties, but Milik’s camp may be keen to weigh up their options after the European Championships, as there is a chance that he could attract interest from bigger clubs.

For those that haven’t seen the Pole in action, he is an exciting forward, with anticipation and the ability to get shots away, even when tightly marked being two of his most impressive attributes. He has scored all sorts of goals in the Eredivisie, from headers, close range finishes, long range goals and direct free kicks. There is more to his game than just goals though, as he looks to bring the midfield into the game, as displayed by his seven assists in the league. Since joining Ajax, his technical ability has risen significantly, as you would expect given the reputation of the club’s coaching staff.

His goal record for the national team is excellent, as he has found the net ten times in 24 caps, continuing his form from the Polish youth sides. He scored the opening goal in his country’s first ever win over Germany, showing that he can compete with the best players in the world. The fact that Milik partners arguably the best striker in the world for the national team is a huge help. He is learning from the best, while the pressure to perform isn’t as high. The stage is set for Poland to have a great Euros, being drawn in Group C alongside Germany, Northern Ireland and Ukraine. They should be confident of qualifying from that group and will be confident in all three matches. If they do have a good tournament, it could be Milik and not Lewandowski who turns out to be the star.

It’s easy to see why Leicester City are trying to get a deal done early for the Polish star, if reports are accurate. He is a young player, with lots of potential, who has a long term future at Champions League level. The 22-year-old would instantly improve their starting eleven and could form a deadly partnership with Jamie Vardy. However, they will also know that if they leave it until after the Euros, they could be beaten to his signature by a bigger outfit. Every single tournament there are a group of young players that breakout, and I expect Arkadiusz Milik to be one of those this summer.


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TotalDutchFootball.com    WorldFootballWeekly.com

Pelle’s Southampton talks stall… or have they?

Reports this morning stated that Southampton’s talks with Feyenoord over the possible signing of Graziano Pelle have come to a standstill. The problem apparently stems from the valuation of the player and The Saints’s unwillingness to budge on their €8 million offer. Rumour has it, Feyenoord want something more in line with €12 million for the striker’s services.

However, Feyenoord could do a lot with €8m and with the upcoming €8.5m sale of defender Bruno Martins Indi to Portuguese giants FC Porto, this would give new boss Fred Rutten an excellent war chest to push Ajax to the limit this year and challenge for the title. With the new Saints manager Ronald Koeman, knowing his former club inside out, including a great relationship with Feyenoord’s technical director Martin van Geel. The Dutchman surely will know how much money it will take to get Pelle to the South Coast of England, so we feel the reports this morning may be inaccurate.

The Italian striker has scored 23 times in 28 appearances for the Rotterdam club last season but he turns 29 on the 15th of July and Southampton are stalling on paying this much for a striker at this age. There is also an element of unproven ability with Pelle, who has only really ever excelled during spells in the Eredivisie.

A fruitful spell at AZ Alkmaar yieled 14 goals in 78 appearances but a year at Parma where he only scored once and a subsequent loan move to Sampdoria was just as unsuccessful. He went on loan to Feyenoord at the beginning of the 2012 season and almost scored a goal per game with 27 in 29, and continued off in similar form last season with his strike rate.

While Southampton have sold a main crop of their young talent that has taken them to the dizzying heights of the top half of the Premier League table, they are not yet desperate enough to spend money needlessly and they might feel that their need for a striker is being used against them in this negotiation. The sale of Rickie Lambert to Liverpool is at the crux of Southampton’s need to find a replacement and Feyenoord will be aware of this fact.

Koeman was at the helm during Pelle’s most prolific period of goalscoring and wants to be reunited with the Italian in order to develop the same kind of productivity that was evident over the past two seasons.

Pelle is also garnering attention from Premier League newcomers Leicester City but Pelle’s loyalty to Koeman might play a huge part in the unravelling of this transfer story.

If the negotiations do break down, Southampton might look to FC Twente’s Luc Castaignos as another possible replacement for Rickie Lambert.


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