Why Everton need to reignite their interest in Arkadiusz Milik in January
Back in July 2016, a report from Liverpool Echo had claimed that Everton were interested in completing a move for Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik, who was then plying his trade with Ajax in the Dutch Eredivisie.
However, the Pole eventually snubbed interest from Merseyside to complete a big-money move to join Serie A giants Napoli in the summer of 2016 and has since enhanced his reputation as a bonafide goalscorer in European football.
Milik, who bagged a staggering 47 goals and 21 assists in 75 appearances for Ajax in all competitions, only played a bit-part role at Napoli during his first couple of seasons due to the dominance of Gonzalo Higuain.
However, the Pole has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past 15 months or so ever since his promotion to the first-choice No.9 at the club. Milik racked up a staggering 20 goals and 4 assists in 47 appearances across all competitions for Napoli last season and has once again made a bright start to life this term.
Despite his ongoing struggles with injuries, the 49-cap Polish international has contributed 5 goals in 8 appearances for Napoli across all competitions so far.
Meanwhile, Everton currently find themselves in a complete mess in the Premier League with almost half the season already done and dusted. A string of unimpressive results prompted the Toffees hierarchy to pull the trigger on former manager Marco Silva, with Duncan Ferguson taking over the caretaker duties.
In an immediate twist of fate, Ferguson guided Everton to a surprise 3-1 victory over Chelsea at Goodison Park at the weekend as the Toffees climbed to 14th in the standings, thanks to a brace from Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
However, with fixtures against Man United, Arsenal, Leicester City and Man City yet to come heading into a hectic festive period, the Merseysiders still have a lot of work to do to repair the damage that has already been caused by a nightmarish start to the campaign.
Appointing a permanent manager must be high on the club’s agenda in the coming days but whoever takes charge will have his work cut out, considering their tally of 19 goals scored and 28 conceded in 16 games.
To that end, Everton will surely to improve on that goalscoring record if they are to climb up the table in the coming months and reigniting interest in Arkaduisz Milik would go a long way towards sorting out a nagging issue in a key area of the pitch for the Toffees.
The Toffees have struggled to find the ideal replacement for Romelu Lukaku since the Belgian’s move to Man United back in the summer of 2017.
Cenk Tosun was roped in as a natural replacement from Besiktas back in January 2018 while Moise Kean also came through the door from Juventus this past summer but neither of them has been anywhere close to evolving into an able replacement for Lukaku.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has proven to be a capable all-round striker but he is still a work in progress. The Toffees can’t really afford to rely too heavily on him to deliver the goods in front of goal week in, week out, just yet.
Arkadiusz Milik, on the other hand, has gone from strength to strength over the past few seasons to rack up a tally of 39 goals in 95 appearances for Napoli in all competitions.
A goal-poacher with an excellent left foot, the 25-year-old Polish international seems to have a bit of everything in his game to adapt to the style of play in any top league in Europe.
Milik already boasts of an impressive strike rate and at 25, he still has his best years ahead of him.
As well as his obvious quality and proven pedigree in front of the goal, Milik also boasts of a wealth of European experience.
As a matter of fact, January would be the ideal time for Everton to make a renewed attempt to sign him, with Milik’s existing contract at Napoli set to expire in the summer of 2021.
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Suffice to say, Arkadiusz Milik might just prove to be the marquee signing that Everton need to turn a lacklustre start to the campaign on its head and eventually push for top-six recognition in the Premier League.