In the final part of our series looking at AC Milan's summer rebuild under Ralf Rangnick, we focus on the striking department.
So where should Milan go to find their next striking talent?
If you want to understand Rangnick's style and the type of player he will target, read part I of this series.
Looking at strikers, we can consider the success of RB Leipzig’s duo Timo Werner and Yussef Poulsen as a model to try and emulate. We will make the assumption that the attack will be built around Ante Rebic, who will likely be retained, meaning we need to take a closer look at what Rebic offers to figure out what style of striker he should be partnered with.
Looking at Rebic’s statistical outputs and comparing to Werner and Poulsen, it is clear to see Rebic has more similarities with Werner thanks to his similar contributions in goal and shot creation as well as dribbling and passing outputs.
What AC Milan will need to look for to recreate this style of partnership is a striker who is strong in the air and looks to be that alternative to Rebic’s ability to get past defenders.
With this player being a target for whatever is left in the budget, we will be looking for a striker from anywhere in the world valued at €1-10m and 25 years old or younger. This brings us a list of 420 potential targets, but three stand out the most.
Terem Moffi: Terem Moffi plays his trade in Belgium at KV Kortrijk, where he arrived at this past wInter and has made an instant impact. The Nigerian has played just over 2000 minutes this season between Kortrijk and his time in Lithuania at FK Riteriai, where he scored 16 goals in all competitions.
Moffi is valued at €1.3m and offers respectable outputs in the air along with consistency for putting his shots on goal (54.9%). Moffi is only 20 and looks to be adapting to life well in Belgium, but despite his success at a young age, he may need another year before being ready to join Milan.
Nikolay Komlichenko: Another wInter signing who could already be keen on a next step is 25-year-old Komlichenko of Dynamo Moscow. Standing at 1.93m and 90kg, his size makes him a force to be reckoned with. Komlichenko wins 47% of his aerial duels and outperforms his 0.57 xG/90 with 0.66 goals P90.
The Russian's conversion rate of 26.3%, making him the most efficient of the shortlisted three. Komlichenko is the closest to his prime, but his 15 goals this season across all competitions and his strong aerial abilities could make him a striker for Milan. With a value of €4.8m, he should be in the price range for a move to be possible.
Joao Klauss De Mello: If there is any striker that seems to be the next great under-the-radar signing for Rangnick, it is Klauss, who is currently playing at LASK in Austria. The 23-year-old is 1.9m tall and sees a high 11.1 aerial duels P90, winning 42% of them.
Klauss also greatly outperforms his expected goals, with 0.66 goals P90 versus 0.51 xG P90. Klauss has a high volume of shots, that would likely come down if he were to move to Serie A, but he ticks a number of boxes to fit the system.
The Brazilian holds an Italian passport and is set to return to Hoffenheim this summer with the expiration of his loan. With the amount of depth Hoffenheim have in their attack, it is very reasonable to think he will be available. Valued at €1.4m, Klauss could be the perfect candidate to surprise the faithful fans of Milan and shock the world.
After briefly looking at the statistical performances of these players, we could now advance to video scouting and profiling to ensure a club cultural fit.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to see more like it, follow Aidan on Twitter @ARDataAnalysis.