Milan have acquired the versatile attacker Ante Rebic on a two-year loan from Eintracht Frankfurt sending Andre Silva in the opposite direction. Here's a look at what the Croatian brings to Milan:
The Croatian Baller is here.— Il Milanista Medio (@milanistamedio) September 2, 2019
Welcome Ante Rebic. pic.twitter.com/8EjOP1ZOIB
A Versatile Attacker
Rebic has played across the board in attacking positions, last season alone he floated between ST, SS and CAM roles whilst he has also played as a LW in the past. His versatility makes him extremely valuable to Giampaolo’s system as he can play as the LAM in a 4-3-2-1 or as a SS in the 4-3-1-2. His numbers are not particularly stunning however the support he provides to the attacking unit is his biggest selling point. He does tend to score in big games if we consider his record; he netted twice against Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal final in 2018 to win the game, he scored the opener for Croatia in their crunch tie against Argentina in the 2018 World Cup and he just scored a hat-trick to complete Frankfurt’s comeback victory in the first round of the DFB-Pokal last month. Rebic is a player who will expand the options in front of goal and bring out the best of the collective attacking unit.
Find you someone who believes in you as much as Ante Rebic believes in Luka Jovic.— FutbolBible (@FutbolBible) May 9, 2019
Rebic always celebrates Jovic's goals before he even takes the shot. Absolutely brilliant. pic.twitter.com/nBTHEUbp0n
Support Play and Key Passes
Rebic is a fantastic support player. Last season, he formed a lethal unit for Eintracht Frankfurt alongside Sebastian Haller and Luka Jovic who collectively scored 57 goals and took Frankfurt to the Europa League semi-finals. Rebic’s role in this was creating space for the two core strikers and playing key passes in behind the defence. He always did well to pull defenders away from Jovic by storming into the box and laying off to his teammates. Rebic knows how to draw defenders in and take them on leaving the other strikers to get quite a few tap-ins. He played a smaller role than Jovic and Haller but he was the key to opening up the attack.
Sleek Dribbling & Explosive Pace
Another attacker with pace, this year Milan have made it a point to bring in players that can inject pace into the squad - an area that has been lacking for years. Rebic is explosive on the counter and is a decent dribbler allowing him to take defenders on, he often knows how to beat one or two players before laying the ball off which could be key into bring Piatek and Suso into the fold when Milan have driven about three quarters up the pitch. The only issue is that he tends to be dispossessed often and tends to struggle a little with holding up the play but this should not be too much of an issue with the appropriate support.
Mental Strength and Impact
A few weeks ago I referred to Bennacer as a fighter and commented on the need for Milan to sign a ‘bad guy’ such as Mandzukic for the impact that these types of players have. Rebic is one of the closest players to Mandzukic in style, impact and they’re both Croatian too. Most importantly, Rebic has that fire that intimidates players, frustrates teams and makes him very tough to play against. Rebic is mentally strong and physically too, he is a fighter and will add some energy to the Milan dressing room. Moreover, he brings key experience to the table as he has won the DFB-Pokal against Bayern, fought all the way to the final of a World Cup and just last season made it to the semi-finals of the Europa League only to lose on penalties. These traits are needed on a team that wants to challenge for top spots.
The most worrying factor of Rebic’s arrival is that his huge potential can be stifled by his tendency to pick up cards and his ‘hot head.’ Rebic in his past three seasons has collected 23 cards in the Bundesliga and a further 6 in other club competitions. Discipline will be a make or break factor for Rebic at Milan given the difficulties currently faced by the Rossoneri with Serie A referees as Milan raked up 76 yellow cards and 5 sending offs last season - the highest amongst the top 5. Rebic has had a tough ride to get where he is and a lot of his journey has been marred by poor discipline but this is his opportunity to put all that in the past and shine at Milan.
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