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Saturday February 24 2018
Cutrone the real deal

Primavera graduate Patrick Cutrone has been the spark that has ignited the Rossoneri amid a €200m spending spree, writes Matthew Santangelo.

Who could have predicted Vincenzo Montella’s decision to reverse sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli’s intentions to loan Patrick Cutrone to Crotone may go down as the single most important action this season for Milan? Few, if any at all.

The current Sevilla Coach, who was sacked as Milan manager after winning just six of 14 league matches, was heavily criticised for his inability to solidify a winning identity and earn the necessary results to qualify for a UEFA Champions League spot. But, for all the wrong he did while boasting a €200m valued squad, Montella deserves some credit for making Cutrone part of his plans for the 2017-18 Serie A season, where the striker is proving to be the worth the hype.

The 20-year-old Italian entered the season as third choice behind Nikola Kalinic and Andre Silva, two strikers the club splashed nearly €70m on last summer. However, throughout the Europa League play-offs and the first set of Serie A fixtures, Cutrone showed something truly special that often leads to goals, but sometimes cannot be quantified: the urge and will to leave his mark.

As Kalinic and Silva both show tremendous peaks and valleys in form, Cutrone has largely remained Milan’s most consistent and effective forward – under both Montella and now Gennaro Gattuso.

To date, the Como-born attacker leads the club in scoring throughout all competitions with 13 goals in 31 appearances.

But beyond his goal-scoring form, Cutrone has shown an uncharacteristic level of maturity and motivation to be a key man at San Siro in just his first full season. We can hone in on black and white statistics all we want with the U-21 talent, but the fact remains Milan are a completely different team in all facets of the game when Cutrone is on the pitch.

Look towards his match-winning efforts against Inter in the stunning Coppa-Italia derby victory, or the ability shown to instantly strike versus Lazio to swing momentum. When you combine his hunger for goal, contagious footballing personality and full embracing of the red and black shirt resting on his young shoulders, it’s easy to see why he is such an adored figure around Italian football.

Cutrone has the “it-factor” about him you just do not see very often in a 20-year old playing a major role in an important season for his boyhood club.

Entering this weekend, Milan prepare for a difficult test away at the Stadio Olimpico against Roma. Currently, the Champions League hopefuls are flying high under their fearless leader Gattuso, riding an 11-match unbeaten streak in all competitions. During this period, Cutrone has taken over sole possession of the starting role and has added five goals and an assist.

After a crucial win last weekend against Sampdoria, the Rossoneri get ready for arguably their most important stretch with Roma and Inter in the league, along with Lazio and Arsenal in the Coppa Italia and Europa League.

Based on current form, there is no denying Gattuso will keep his men grounded, yet determined to chase victories in each of these ties. If Milan are to get through this string of battles feeling good about their standing in the table to qualify for a top four finish, they will need their star striker Cutrone to do some heavy lifting and prove what most believe to be true already: that he is in fact the real deal.

Have your say...
He looks very promising n Italy r crying out 4 n intelligent penalty box predator like him! I'm glad he's getting a chance at Milan n Gattuso has been exceptional 4 Milan as well! Now Milan have a good understanding in defense it would b great if they could re-create that 4 Italy! Ya know with a decent coach Italy should really be able to come back from the WC debacle! They do need a few more 2 really step up but they have got good players n they have some really exciting prospects!
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 10:36am
@Viktor you do know Bonaventura is 28? Hardly a youth player.

Locatelli has been found out and Conti hasn't even played because of injury. Up until a month ago Calabria was regarded as a week link.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 5:45pm
Wow he scored against a poor Roma side that had just come back from playing in Ukraine in midweek. Must be a superstar
on the 27th February, 2018 at 5:41pm
Let's put it this way:

Will Milan win the Scudetto this year?

Answer:
A big, fat NO

Must do better...........
MUCH BETTER !!!
on the 27th February, 2018 at 4:51am
@Beppe Rossi

"Go sit down" hahahaha nice come back... really. Bravo!!

Yes, considering they will be starting for Italy for upcoming years yes, you should.
Cutrone, Locatelli, Romangoli, Donnarumma, conti, Kessie, they are all very promsing.
Now be quiet because you know I'm right.
on the 26th February, 2018 at 8:20am
Lol he scored against Roma too. Where's that Anonymous dude. Roma big enough for you mate? Haha
on the 26th February, 2018 at 7:36am
Cutrone is a good poacher ill give the kid that. Would like a player like that at juve again. I am usually yhe first person to bash leo b around here but today he played a good game,aside from a few hopeless long balls into the area. Anyways back to cutrone i like the way he attacks the spaces, thats milans best player for me hands down.
on the 26th February, 2018 at 12:00am
@ viktor - Am I supposed to be impressed by you listing which ever young Italian you have? Go sit down.
on the 25th February, 2018 at 11:35pm
That's real class. And so difficult to defend against because it's so quick. One thing we all need to remember however is that in the next 20 years (yes that's how long he's going to play for Milan) he'll have ups and downs. He might go 10 games without a goal. He might go a season and only score a handful of goals. But we all must remember form is temporary, class is permanent.
on the 25th February, 2018 at 9:55pm
What's changed from 2 October 2017 (when Roma beat Milan) to 25 February 2018 (when Milan beat Roma)? Have the players remarkably swapped levels? Or are the differences between sides and players not as great as the media and fans make up? Cutrone certainly has the X factor. And while his finishes look easy it's the build up play, the timing of the runs and the simplicity that really shouldn't be underestimated. He made that goal tonight with a simple, early pass out wide, a clever run and finish
on the 25th February, 2018 at 9:50pm
The best thing about being a miserable so and so is that you get the celebrate being wrong! And boy was I wrong about Gattuso. Maybe there's something there. Maybe he has that inexplicable X factor. Somehow where the stars did not align at Palermo or Sion he has found his zen at Milan (mixed religious and mythological references). What I was right about however is that the right manager can transform a team. Are these players the same one's that everyone was writing off before?
on the 25th February, 2018 at 9:46pm
Even if Cutrone doesn't do well in the tough matches to come, they will be opportunities to grow tremendously in playing the tough draws. He has already shown what he is capable of, so let's hope he can continue to grow in the coming years.
on the 25th February, 2018 at 2:40pm
@Beppe Rossi

"This squad has no identity,"

I'd say that we have the most promising squad in italy youth wise.

Calabria, Donnarumma, Romangoli, Conti, Locatelli, Jack, Cutrone...

So yeah.. I'd reconsider that statement beppe.
on the 25th February, 2018 at 12:21pm
Yeah Yeah Yeah... Cutrone the real deal......................................................................................................... FOR NOW.

What happened to overrated El Shaarawy????

He was an ultra super duper phenomenon in the eyes of Vikky and friends alias desperate Milan fans, wasn't he?
on the 25th February, 2018 at 11:29am
Cutrone is a good find for Milan, and for this they can thank Montella.

However all those millions spent badly on the market have been Milan's undoing.

Very, very difficult to become contenders with Gattuso in charge.
on the 25th February, 2018 at 7:15am
Buying Kalinic should have had Marco Fassone fired. These guys have no eye for talent at all. They got lucky Montella asked to keep Cutrone. Where would they be otherwise? This squad has no identity, but alas to much of the old guards shagrin, the young Italian saves the day.
on the 24th February, 2018 at 8:34pm
Just returning the favor. Your all very welcome
on the 24th February, 2018 at 6:35pm
Dont pay any attention to this @Anonymous. Clearly Cutrone is doing better then ANYONE at all could expect.
on the 24th February, 2018 at 5:18pm
Time will tell, he has a long way to go before claiming he is "the real deal". Sometimes its easier being the young player with no pressure in a struggling team. Paloschi had a similar Serie A goal/game ratio at the start of his career.
on the 24th February, 2018 at 5:15pm
It is ironic that a academy player is better than 70 million euros worth of new strikers. For me kalinic is a write off i still have faith that silva can turn out to be a good player for milan.

As for cutrone there is very reason to be excited about his talent and future there may be a case of some people vastly overestimating his abilities which seems equally balance by trolls putting him down out of jealousy.
on the 24th February, 2018 at 4:37pm
@Anonymous - that's not the point. The point is that with 70mil spent on "proven" strikers like Kalinic and Silva, it's the 20yo primavera striker that had shown most consistency. Small clubs or not, a scoring streak helps this Milan find a much needed positive string of results. And that's nothing to sneeze at.
on the 24th February, 2018 at 3:14pm
Anonymous must be trolling if he really thinks that. Cutrone has been a breathe of fresh air. The last time I've seen an Italian striker with his kind of positioning towards goal and he's only 20.he has sipped and strength too so he should develop into a real poacher. Something italy has missed since pippo retired. Sure it's only been one season but this kid game through the youth ranks and was raised in the italian league and shows some real heart.so how can someone not be a huge fan of his?
on the 24th February, 2018 at 3:12pm
Oh yeah he was able to score against Inter who needed penalty's to beat a third tier team in the previous round. Playing Milan in the middle of their worst run of the season. That totally changes everything. Impressive stuff by Cutrone. Future ballon d'or for sure.... Lol
on the 24th February, 2018 at 2:39pm
Annnnnd he scored against Inter, too. Guess you forgot that.
on the 24th February, 2018 at 12:51pm
@Anonymous

So consistency means nothing to you? HAS to be against big clubs otherwise it doesnt count? He scored second most in europe under 21 after Mbappe..
on the 24th February, 2018 at 12:14pm
A bit early to talk about Cutrone being the real deal. He has scored against Crotone, Cagliari, Spal, Lazio, Rijeka, Austria Wien, and Ludogorets.... All but Lazio are small clubs
on the 24th February, 2018 at 11:09am
As a Milan supporter since mid 80's, Cutrone shows what we have missed for over a decade, fighting spirit.

He might be a one season player, he might be the new pipo. Regardless, he shows something we missed for a long time, true grit.

To be honest, at this point Milan only misses a true pace player as suso is good but not top tier. I would any day pick cutrone before silva and kallinic as things are for now.
on the 24th February, 2018 at 10:07am

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