Recovering the Belgian, in the legs and on the pitch, is one of Milan’s main objectives in this break. And the choices on the summer transfer market will also depend on his second half of the season
After all, his only goal for the Rossoneri is an emblem in its own way: Divock fires a fantastic right foot into the Monza goal and then stands still to exult on the spot, with a slightly disconsolate smile, after feeling a muscle pull in his time to kick. In that postcard there is all of this year’s Origi: the prowess of a very talented boy and the fragility of a player who has not yet freed himself from the chains of physical problems.
Light and shadow
The ball is in Pioli’s half field, and an illuminating play will be needed – on the other hand he was a stopper with polite feet – to put yet another player in need of care back on track. The Rossoneri coach is an expert in this. In the three years of management he has made it (almost) with everyone, even when for someone there was nothing left but to throw in the towel. Moreover, it is Milan themselves who ask him for prompt intervention with Divock, because Divock is not just any player. He arrived at Milanello with the clothes of the centre-forward, an alternative to Giroud in the ideas of the management. The problem is that the alternative only existed for a handful of minutes. Because when the Belgian lit up, cheering everyone up, the next time he moved again in the dark.
Origi will also be a very important balance in view of next year – when Milan will probably need to bring home a new center forward – but he needs to be at least in the second half of this season. It is unthinkable to ask Giroud for continuous overtime while on the return of Ibra, well, everything that comes will be welcome. But a healthy realism is needed on Zlatan. That’s why actually recovering Divock is one of the essential missions in this stop. Making a quick summary, it all started when… it hadn’t started yet. In the sense that the Belgian arrived battered from Liverpool. The fault of a muscle problem in the final of last year that took him off the scene, excluding him from the squad also in the Champions League final against Real. A problem that turned out to be much more subtle and impactful than expected, so much so that he practically skipped the entire summer preparation. And when Divock started training with a good intensity, a tendon inflammation took him off the scene that caused him to miss five games and, in fact, almost eliminated his athletic progress. Divock reappeared with a little decision in mid-October in Verona, with a comforting and auspicious entrance followed by a good performance against Monza: a goal, an assist and finally assorted smiles at Milanello. The worst is over. Not at all. After that, another involution.
This time in tactical terms, as well as leg. A player out of the pack, with obvious difficulties in finding the starting point. The classic situation in which the head commands illustrious operations and the body fails to execute them. Welcome to the long break, then. For Origi, starting from the beginning of December, a special work plan is ready. Targeted and personalized athletic preparation, studied by Pioli’s staff based on the player’s parameters. While the coach will provide further tactical lessons, also because Pioli’s Milan has been further evolving in the game situations in recent weeks. We also need to restore the rhythm of the game – Divock is a dynamic player when he’s doing well, who loves to vary and bet on the man – and in this sense the December friendlies with Arsenal, Liverpool and Psv will increase playing time. In short, an end of the year in the sign of Origi, with the hope that the whole of 2023 will be the same.
November 24, 2022 (change November 24, 2022 | 18:43)
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