Young loanee Arkadiusz Milik has all the right tools to succeed at the very highest level and reigning Eredivisie champions Ajax hope he’ll stick around long enough to help deliver success on the European stage, as well as retaining their domestic dominance.

  • By David Lee Wheatley
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milik ajaPolish striker Arkadiusz Milik arrived in the Netherlands on a temporary arrangement from Bayer Leverkusen back in June and made an instant impact with a smart double in a home win over Heracles on just his second league outing of the campaign.

The 20-year-old also plundered a double hat-trick in a KNVB Cup rout of JOS Watergraafsmeer, which further enhanced his burgeoning reputation.

Tall, mobile and with the ability to strike with equal effectiveness from outside and inside the penalty area, the promising attacker doesn’t offer a moment’s peace to opposition defenders at Eredivisie level and has since transferred those qualities to the international stage.

Milik was the top goalscorer of the 2015 under-21 European Championship qualifiers with nine to his name when agreeing to join Ajax and subsequently received a recall to the senior Polish national team as a result.

His rapid progression continued in the October round of Euro 2016 qualifying ties with an opening goal in a famous 2-0 victory over world champions Germany followed up by a vital equaliser against Scotland to snatch a 2-2 draw from the jaws of defeat.

His performances have fluctuated in an Ajax shirt since that mid-September double against Heracles, but he was back to his best on October 25 when producing a man-of-the-match display during a welcome 3-1 triumph over Go-Ahead Eagles, whilst scoring a fine goal thanks to a wonderful set-up involving an extensive period of possession by the hosts.

He failed to shine throughout 18 appearances on loan with Germans Augsburg last term and hasn’t had a look-in with Bayer since signing from Gornik Zabrze in 2012, but recent flashes of brilliance for his country and current club suggest he’s set for future stardom.

Tychy-born Milik is gradually blossoming under the expert tutelage of head coach Frank De Boer, who firmly believes in the promotion of youth into the first-team, and with an organisation famed for that policy.

Should the lively frontman continue as a regular selection on De Boer’s team-sheet and also be afforded generous patience from the passionate Ajax fans, then the rewards could be immense.

There’s more than a passing resemblance between the play of Milik and Polish-born Germany World Cup hero Miroslav Klose and the young pretender will hope to enjoy a career even half as successful as the veteran Lazio star’s.

At 20, the ex-Rozwoj Katowice man has plenty to learn and eventually prove, but there’s no better place than Ajax for him to do just that.

Furthermore, the Amsterdam club are believed to have placed an option into the loan contract giving them first refusal on the permanent services of the player. Whether Bayer Leverkusen would be willing to actually sanctioned such a deal remains to be seen, but Ajax would be crazy to forego the opportunity should it arise.