After Milan came up short in landing a premier midfielder, it was Genoa’s Slovakian international, Juraj Kucka, who was called upon to be an impact player. So far, the 28-year old has proven to be more than just a consolation prize for the Rossoneri
Disappointment. Anger. Two words that fully described how Milanisti felt after the summer transfer window closed. An entire summer was spent by Galliani pursuing the likes of Geoffrey Kondogbia and Axel Wistel only to not acquire at least one of the prized and impactful midfielders. Despite doing quite a bit to revamp this lackluster squad, the midfield always worried the Milan faithful as struggles within this area of the team were well documented.
Kondogbia and Witsel did not arrive, however Andrea Bertolacci and Jose Mauri were the two midfielders added to the squad this summer, giving hope to the supporters that perhaps they’d see a more dynamic, versatile and most importantly creative midfield. Thus far, neither of these Italian internationals has provided the spark needed desperately in the midfield.
Despite being one of the last additions of the summer, 28-year old Juraj Kucka has been more than just a filler to this side. The former Genoa midfielder has always been on the Milan radar but a transfer always seemed to fall apart, whether it was an injury or the financial burden it would cause. For just 3 million euros, Mihajlović has been able to deploy Kucka into his 4-3-1-2 formation, yielding positive results.
In his three matches with Milan, we have witnessed the Slovakian make a significant impact, particularly in the 1-0 loss to Inter where he showcased his entire skill-set on the big stage. He has shown that he can make a key tackle to cut down the opposition while also showing his creativity to take on opposing players with confidence.
Most Milan supporters would argue that Juraj Kucka has exceeded their expectations. If you haven’t been able to watch the new Milan midfielder in action this season and need some supporting detail to his impact, here are some key stats on the former Rossoblu man, according to WhoScored:
Pass %: 75.6 Tackles per game: 3 Interceptions per game: 2
The most important statistic would be his average match rating with Milan: 7.23
After turning in a good performance in the Derby della Madonnina a few weeks ago, Kucka turned it up a notch against Palermo. He was everything Milan needed in this match and more. Aside from his work in the midfield, he also found himself linking up with Carlos Bacca, supplying a superb cross in that the Colombian performed an even better finish on for his second goal in a 3-2 win over Palermo:
Unfortunately for Milan, Kucka will not be available for this week’s match against Udinese as he picked up an injury against Palermo and as his recent form shows, he will surely be missed. If Milan can get this play each week by Kucka, Mihajlović will have a difficult time benching him once Bertolacci returns from injury.
Juraj Kucka, Milan’s pleasant surprise. Can he be the impactful midfielder this team leans on for the entire season?