Patrick Cutrone: A Rising Star

Patrick Cutrone
MILAN, ITALY - JANUARY 28: Patrick Cutrone (R) of AC Milan celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the serie A match between AC Milan and SS Lazio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 28, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Patrick Cutrone has broken into the AC Milan first team with his stellar performances this season and looks to have all the makings of becoming a star in Serie A. The striker has always performed well for the Italian youth squads and his talent was evident. He had racked up 31 goals in 63 appearances, and now it’s translating into the senior side. The 20-year-old Italian starlet has scored eight goals in 23 appearances for Milan this season so far. He is now making a serious case to take over the starting striker role from Croatian Nikola Kalinić.

The Rossoneri spent a combined 63 million Euros this past summer to acquire Kalinić and André Silva. A fierce battle for the striker position was expected, but it has been the homegrown Primavera product in Cutrone who has been the most effective in that position.

Patrick Cutrone, Future Star

Performances and Strengths

Patrick Cutrone’s movement in the final third and ability to calmly finish in front of goal are comparable to a seasoned veteran. This is all the more impressive when one considers the fact that Cutrone just turned 20. He has even been compared to Milan legend Filippo Inzaghi at times, although those comparisons might still be premature. In five Europa League group fixtures, the striker managed to find the back of the net three times and average just under four shots per game. One of these goals came in stoppage time versus Croatian outfit Rijeka. That goal earned Milan the win and made it clear that they were going to finish top of their group.  Silva has been Milan’s top striker in the competition so far, but Cutrone has exceeded expectations.

The Italian has seen his struggles in Serie A, however. He has three goals in 15 appearances, but he has only started seven of those matches. In Coppa Italia, however, he converted the game-winning goal in extra time in a quarterfinal matchup versus bitter city rivals Inter Milan. That goal not only won the game and allowed Milan to advance to the semi-final where they await a feisty Lazio side, but it also lifted the spirits of all fans enduring a difficult season and created hope for the second-half of the campaign.

The Future

Cutrone flashed his potential during the preseason, including a memorable performance and goal versus Bayern Munich. Teams were after him on loan, but former Milan manager Vincenzo Montella made the call to reject those offers. The striker has continued to earn time under interim manager Gennaro Gattuso. Although Kalinić has remained the number one option up top, his performances have made it seem like it is Patrick Cutrone’s for the taking. Cutrone will remain a substitute option for now, but his performances might suggest otherwise. It should come as no surprise if he finds himself as the main striker at season’s end.

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