With various reports indicating that AC Milan are closing in on signing Liverpool striker Divock Origi on a free transfer this summer, the Rossoneri fanbase has been divided on this potential move.
The uncertainty surrounding strikers Zlatan Ibrahimović and Marko Lazetić has made most of the Milan fanbase expect their club to spend a significant amount of their transfer budget on a new starting striker this year summer. However, with the recent heroics of Olivier Giroud, the signing of Origi should not be overlooked or looked down upon.
Giroud has proved himself to be a top-class striker this season, having amassed 10 goals and assists in 11 starts in 2020 so far and has become one of Milan’s most important players. He has seemingly ended Milan’s #9 curse and won over fans’ affection.
When one considers Milan’s limited budget and there is no guarantee of an immediate impact from an expensive signing to join the striking pecking order, the Rossoneri should make Giroud the starter ahead of next season and sign someone on a free transfer to serve as the backup. This decision would help the club invest significantly in bringing in a new right winger and attacking midfielder.
Origi would not be the ideal long-term solution to their attack, but he would act as a good rotation player and save transfer funds that could be spent elsewhere. Unfortunately, Milan has always been a club that has seen tons of fake transfer rumours, and it seems as though Torino’s Andrea Belotti is the only alternative.
The struggles of Alexis Saelemaekers and Junior Messias have made it apparent if the Rossoneri want to bridge the gap between them and Europe’s other top clubs, a starting right winger should be their biggest priority.
The biggest obstacle for Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara to close this deal will be Origi’s salary. There is an agreement for a 4-year contract, but the Belgian striker is asking for €4.5 million while Milan are offering €4.5 million. Nevertheless, a compromise from both parties seems likely as a deal of around €4.0 million could seal the operation.
Since joining Liverpool In 2015, Origi has amassed 40 goals and 17 assists in 171 appearances for the Reds. Origi has scored a Premier League goal every 163 minutes as a consistent bench player and has consistently scored crucial goals for his side.
Back in December, Origi had scored the goal that would eliminate Milan from the Champions League. However, his most iconic goal was his tie-winning strike that would complete Liverpool’s four-goal comeback against Barcelona in 2019 that sent his club to the Champions League final.
The 26-year-old brings plenty of Champions League experience, and, right now, it seems unlikely that Milan will be able to bring in a similar profile for €4.0 million, excluding Belotti. Origi has never played in Serie A but has proved his physical abilities in England and would be a very cost-efficient deal for the Rossoneri to close.
With the limited funding available to Milan compared to Europe’s other top teams, it is detrimental that the Rossoneri management gets it right with all transfers in the summer mercato. Origi does not have the quality to be Milan’s starting striker. Still, he is more than capable of serving as a reliable back-up to one of Giroud or Ibrahimović next season.