Why AC Milan Have Not Allocated No.9 Shirt To £30 Million Signing Krzysztof Piatek
The No.9 shirt was freed up at AC Milan due to Gonzalo Higuain heading to Chelsea on loan but the Rossoneri opted against giving it to new £30 million signing Krzysztof Piatek.
Wearing #9 on his back, the Polish striker banged in 13 goals in 19 games for Genoa this season - all the more impressive considering Cesare Prandelli's side are currently 14th in Serie A.
However despite asking for the same number once worn by George Weah and Marco van Basten., Piatek has been handed the No.19 shirt upon signing his four-and-a-half year contract at the San Siro.
Sporting Director Leonardo rates him highly as a player but says the 23-year old needs to earn the iconic number.
"There's no superstition behind him not wearing the No 9," he said at the official unveiling on Thursday.
"He wanted the number 9 jersey but we think it [AC Milan's no.9 shirt] has to be earned so we decided to give him the number 19 jersey instead."- FourFourTweet (@FourFourTweet) January 24, 2019
- Leonardo on Krzysztof Piątek pic.twitter.com/wzGhyevXtB
"We made the decision. He asked for the No 9 but we think that right now, the No 9 should be earned.
"It's a pretty important number, so we had him choose 19. However, there's a No 9 inside of him."
The legendary Filippo Inzaghi was probably the last man to wear the No.9 with distinction for Milan, with the number experiencing a curse of some sorts in recent years.
Alexandre Pato, Alessandro Matri, Mattia Destro, Fernando Torres, Luiz Adriano, Gianluca Lapadula, Andre Silva and now Higuain all struggled with the pressures of wearing the No.9 and leading the attack, so it might be a blessing for Piatek to not get the jersey.
He wasn't actually Milan's top target for the striker berth but Leonardo is pleased with the January signing.
"Choosing Piatek wasn't so difficult," he said, as per Football Italia.
"He scored 13 goals in 19 games and immediately showed his qualities. We didn't plan on signing him and it was an unforeseen investment, but we had the chance to invest and choosing him wasn't difficult.
"He already knows our football and League well. Attempts for Ibra and Fabregas weren't blocked by our position on the market but rather by market situations."
Will Piatek be a success at Milan?
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