Attacking Prowess and Midfield Depth
Rade Krunic has played as a central and often attacking midfielder for Empoli since 2015/16. He has grabbed a whooping 116 appearances over four seasons - three of which were in Serie A. His first season at Empoli was under Marco Giampaolo where Krunic operated as a depth player for the midfield, he job was often to come onto the pitch to reinvigorate the midfield and stimulate attacks. This will be a similar expectation of Krunic at Milan, he will not likely be a starter but a key depth option to introduce when one out of the LM/RM/CAM are fading or having a bad game. Krunic has a knack for picking up the occasional goal and assist but his true power lies in his combination of speed and strength to drive the team up the field.
Dribbling and Transitioning
One area where Milan have struggled since the departure of Seedorf has been a smooth and speedy transition from the defensive phase into the attack. Milan have severely lacked midfielders with the pace and skill to dribble out of their half into a counter attack. This is especially necessary in games where Milan are losing as there is no time for the patient possession build up. Krunic is an excellent dribbler and is known for taking on defenders, his speed allows him to stretch the play on the counter and will be a huge asset on the counter. Krunic averages 1.4 dribbles per game but draws 2.3 fouls per game hence he tends to win free kicks that support the attack.
Long Shots and the Outside Threat
Krunic has a wicked right foot and has an incredible highlight reel of screamers. His ability to scvore from outside the box gives him an edge and will be an important tactical ploy for Milan. Krunic’s runs at the defence will split offences open as he poses a shooting threat from distance but is also a great passer with good vision. Hence defenders will be drawn out to close him down allowing more space for the attackers to find good positions thereafter Krunic has the option to shoot or pass, thus creating a dual threat when he pushes forward. This is a similar way Calhanoglu’s central runs this season that often ended with wild shots but sometimes resulted in amazing goals and a few assists.
Consistent Performer and Solid Mentality
Most importantly, Krunic will add to a team of fighters. Milan need mentally strong players who will fight to the last minute to secure three points. Krunic has been a regular starter on an Empoli squad that fought relegation to their last minutes in the 2018/19 season but he was also part of the starting XI of an Empoli side that won the Serie B in 2017/18 with a comfortable 7 point gap over Parma. Over the past two seasons, Krunic has contributed 10 goals to his team whilst playing over 30 games in each campaign. Krunic is a player who has experienced winning a title and fighting for relegation, all while performing well enough to earn solid ratings over the years. This will be a good mentality to have coming off the bench.
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