Dani Olmo has been in high demand for over the last few months now. The Spaniard in Croatia’s links with clubs like AC Milan, Barcelona, Tottenham and Manchester United have come in the wake of impressive performances too. There seems to be no stopping him too.
This season, Olmo has contributed to 15 goals in 22 appearances in all competitions for Dinamo Zagreb. In the UEFA Champions League, he had a tally of two goals and one assist in five games. Since making the bold move of going to Croatia from the La Masia youth academy, the 21-year-old has found the back of the net 34 times in 124 games, assisting 28 times.
Those are very good numbers for a 21-year-old. But Olmo’s impression reaches beyond just club football. He recently scored on his debut for the Spanish national side. In the Under-21s European Championships last summer, he was key in helping Spain win the title. He could play only four games, but got three goals and a single assist.
Olmo’s father has already said that he wants to leave Dinamo, something that will alarm potential suitors. He told Calciomercato:
“It is true, we met Milan when Leonardo was there. I do not know if his farewell, or the change in sports direction or the fact that they failed to reach an agreement with Dinamo has cooled the interest.
“We had two meetings in Italy, one with Milan and one with another big club. To reach an agreement, we need to find an agreement with Dinamo Zagreb.”
As the links with Milan continue to be made, it should be good news for the rossoneri faithful. This is a player who is wanted by some other big clubs and getting him would be a matter of prestige for Milan.
Olmo is an attacking midfielder by trade, but can play on either sides of the front-three too. For Milan, he is a lot like what Giacomo Bonaventura brings to the plate. Olmo is just younger and hasn’t had his career get derailed by injuries- like it is the case with Bonaventura.
The Italian’s resurgence this season has been very good for Milan. Bonaventura has a tally of two goals in ten appearances this season. Under Stefano Pioli, Milan use a 4-3-3 system that hasn’t exactly done too much good for Hakan Calhanoglu and Suso.
Calhanoglu has scored twice, assisting once in 16 games. Suso, on the other hand, has one goals and two assists in 15 games. For players who have to be the club’s creative sparks, that isn’t good enough.
This lack of service is the reason for the rossoneri not scoring enough. They have scored only 16 goals this season– the sixth-lowest in the division. Because of that, Krzysztof Piatek has just one goal from open play and looks devoid of confidence. The lack of creativity has been costing Milan immensely, even though Bonaventura has shown promise since his return.
Lucas Paqueta, who came to the club from Flamengo last January, hasn’t been impressing at all either. The Brazilian has played 13 games, assisting just once. He is constantly in and out of the side, with only eight starts to his name. Links with Paris Saint-Germain aren’t a surprise at all.
Anything in that doesn’t give a promising read for Milan faithful. They might have brought in Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the issues are more down to lack of creativity than the inability to score. The underperformance of the creative players shows that.
That’s exactly why Olmo’s potential signing will open many doors for the rossoneri. He brings that burst of pace and the ability to thread defences open.
In Dinamo’s recent Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk, Olmo came up with two key passes and had two dribbles to his name. That, when he was playing as the right midfielder in a 5-4-1 shape.
When playing centrally against the side in the reverse fixture, Olmo had a better game. He had two key passes and three completed dribbles to his name. He also completed three tackles, winning just as many aerial duels. It was a complete performance.
That is the very definition of what Milan need too. This is a player who has already spoken of his admiration through not just his father. But he’s done it himself too. He told Calciomercato in an interview:
“I have always admired great teams like Juventus and Milan. But I also like Inter, Roma and Napoli. They are teams that play good football. ”
“I follow Serie A a lot. In Croatia, they broadcast all the matches on television. It is a very attractive championship as the teams give a great show. ”
For a player who has already made his decision to leave clear, money shouldn’t be an issue. And Milan have to act as fast as they can. Or they’ll risk the golden opportunity of signing a potential future star.