AC Milan v Inter: Prolific Piatek threatening to take Icardi's crown

By Sports Desk March 15, 2019

Mauro Icardi's ongoing stand-off with Inter looms over this weekend's derby showdown against AC Milan at San Siro.

The striker was stripped of the club captaincy in February and is yet to return to training following a knee problem, despite head coach Luciano Spalletti stating he has been cleared by Inter's medical staff.

Icardi's wife and agent Wanda Nara insisted again this week that the Argentina international wants to remain with the Nerazzurri but, even if he does, his status as the most potent frontman in the city is under threat.

Poland's Krzysztof Piatek has been a revelation since joining Milan from Genoa in January and the rivals' contrasting form of late can partially be explained by the contributions of their leading centre-forwards.

With Piatek making hay as Icardi watches on, we took a look at some Opta data comparing the two number nines.

80.33 – Piatek averages better than a goal a game in Serie A since linking up with Gennaro Gattuso's squad, netting six in as many starts to average one every 80.33 minutes.

13 – The 23-year's introduction to Serie A with Genoa earlier this season was similarly prolific as he scored 13 times in 19 appearances.

102.34 – Icardi's goals-per-minute reading for 2017-18, when he scored 29 in 34 Serie A outings – all of which were starts. Piatek's Genoa stint was shy of this in terms of goal regularity, clocking 122.62 minutes per goal.

9 – Icardi's productivity had dropped off considerably this season, even before his absence. Over the course of 20 appearances, 18 from the first whistle, he has scored nine times or once every 185.44 minutes.

76.92 – Piatek's shooting accuracy percentage at Milan, up from 50 at Genoa. Over the course of his prolific 2017-18, Icardi's accuracy stood at 63.1 per cent as he returned 1.6 shots on target per game.

37.5 – Another number assisted by the smaller sample of Piatek's time at Milan, but his shot conversion percentage is, again, impressively high. Icardi converted 28.71 per cent last season, down to 16.98 this time around.

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Atletico poised to bid for Eriksen Rumour Has It: Atletico poised to bid for Eriksen

    Christian Eriksen put some of Europe's biggest clubs on alert when he declared he would "like to try something new" and now it seems the Tottenham star could make a surprise move.

    Initial speculation suggested that Real Madrid would make a move for the talented Spurs playmaker.

    As the 2019-20 season draws ever closer, however, it could be that another Spanish giant – and neighbours of Real Madrid – steal a march in the quest to land the Denmark international.

     

    TOP STORY – ATLETI AND TOTTENHAM IN ERIKSEN TALKS

    Atletico Madrid have enjoyed a productive transfer window – despite losing Antoine Griezmann, Rodri and Diego Godin – and could be set to swoop for Tottenham's Christian Eriksen.

    The Dane has spent six seasons with the north London club but is ready for a new challenge and could join former team-mate Kieran Trippier in the Spanish capital.

    AS reports that the two clubs have started discussions over a fee for the 27-year-old, with Spurs likely to demand in excess of €70million.

    ROUND-UP

    - Paris Saint-Germain have found their target if Neymar gets his desired move away from the Parc des Princes. According to RMC Sport, Juventus midfielder Paulo Dybala is PSG's top option if Neymar leaves.

    - James Rodriguez is linked with the likes of Atletico Madrid and Napoli, and Real Madrid want around €40m for the playmaker, according to Marca.

    - David de Gea will become the world's highest paid goalkeeper. The Manchester United shot-stopper has agreed to a six-year deal worth around £117m with the Premier League giants, according to The Telegraph.

    - Arsenal could land Moise Kean from Juventus, but only if any deal includes a buy-back clause. The Daily Mail say Juve will insist on a £36m (€40.1m) clause in a possible deal involving the forward.

    - Danny Rose is widely expected to leave Tottenham this close season, with numerous clubs linked with the left-back. Now, the Mirror report Serie A champions Juventus are the frontrunners to sign the defender.

    - After Aaron Wan-Bissaka's move to Manchester United, Crystal Palace may have found their replacement. The Daily Mail report Palace have held further talks over a potential deal for Liverpool right-back Nathaniel Clyne.

  • Arsenal boss Emery wants 'three or four' new signings Arsenal boss Emery wants 'three or four' new signings

    Arsenal head coach Unai Emery said he wants to sign "three or four players" ahead of the 2019-20 Premier League season.

    It has been a quiet transfer window so far for Arsenal, who have been linked with moves for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, Saint-Etienne teenager William Saliba, Real Madrid's Dani Ceballos and Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.

    However, Arsenal are reportedly close to signing Saliba in a deal which would see the 18-year-old loaned back to Saint-Etienne until the end of the season.

    Speaking to reporters following Arsenal's 3-0 win over Fiorentina at the International Champions Cup on Saturday, Emery said: "I am patient because we want to choose the best solution.

    "Some players are very expensive and we are waiting for this possibility because we don't want now to go to the second line of players. We are waiting and really we have very good young players.

    "We are aware we also need to improve some areas in this squad. But I only want to sign three or four players only if we can be sure they are coming to improve our squad.

    "There are a lot of names and the club is working. Edu is very close to me every day and also with the Kroenke family.

    "I want to send a message to all our supporters that we want to [build] the best squad possible."

    While Arsenal try to sign players, Eddie Nketiah has impressed on the United States tour and the 20-year-old continued his fine form against Fiorentina in Charlotte.

    After scoring a late winner against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, Nketiah netted a brace to lead Arsenal past Fiorentina in North Carolina.

    Asked if Nketiah will remain at Arsenal instead of being loaned out, Emery said: "I spoke with him and with the club. He has started with a doubt if it is better for him to stay here with us or leave to play more minutes with another team.

    "But we have examples last year of some players who wanted to go away and didn’t play all we wanted. I said to him to first be focused here. If you earn the right to be with us it’s because I can promise you that you are going to have minutes. But in those minutes you need to learn.

    "And in the pre-season at the moment he’s playing like we want. The young players who are here, this is the moment for them to show how we can use them to help us in the season."

  • Maguire not affected by United and City speculation – Morgan Maguire not affected by United and City speculation – Morgan

    Leicester City star Harry Maguire has not been affected by links to Manchester United and Manchester City, insisted captain Wes Morgan.

    Maguire has emerged as a target for Manchester neighbours United and City, with the Red Devils reportedly the favourites to sign the England centre-back.

    Leicester have rejected two bids for Maguire, who is thought to be valued at £80million by the Premier League side, as the 26-year-old's future continues to dominate headlines.

    Amid the transfer rumours, Leicester defender Morgan said in-demand team-mate Maguire has not changed.

    "He has been the same Harry that we know and love," said Morgan. "You can see in the games he's putting 100 per cent effort into everything he does and his quality is there for everyone to see. 

    "I don't know what's going to happen in the future but for now he's still a Leicester player and we enjoy having him here. He's said nothing.

    "There's going to be speculation because he's a top-class player who has done well at international level. Big teams are going to take an interest and that goes for many of our top players. People want our best players and he is one of them.

    "In training, it's the same old banter, the same old training. He's part of Leicester so we just treat him the same."

     

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.