Milik with Napoli in 2016
|Full name||Arkadiusz Krystian Milik|
|Date of birth||28 February 1994|
|Place of birth||Tychy, Poland|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2013–2014||→ FC Augsburg (loan)||18||(2)|
|2014–2015||→ Ajax (loan)||21||(11)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:52, 28 July 2020 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 7 September 2020
Milik began his career as a footballer in the Rozwój Katowice youth squad. In 2011, he signed a one-year contract with Górnik Zabrze, and in 2012 he transferred to Bayer Leverkusen and later played on loan for FC Augsburg and Ajax respectively. In 2015–16, he was purchased by Ajax on a four-year deal for a reported €2.8 million fee. While playing for Ajax, Milik became one of the top goalscorers in Eredivisie. On 1 August 2016, he joined Italian club Napoli for €35 million, effectively replacing Gonzalo Higuaín.
At international level, he participated at UEFA Euro 2016 with Poland, where his nation reached the quarter-final stage of the tournament. He also took part at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where his team was eliminated in the group stage.
Sławomir "Moki" Mogilan, a football coach, recognized Milik's footballing talent and helped develop his abilities, fostering a greater professionalism in his outlook. When he was 16 years old, reports of the talented youngster had reached England and he was invited to trial with Tottenham Hotspur and Reading, but ultimately decided to focus on his football in Poland.
Milik began his career as a youth player for Rozwój Katowice and played in the reserve team during the 2009–10 season. On 23 October 2010, the 16-year-old made his III liga debut when he scored two goals in a 4–0 victory over KS Krasiejów. In November, he went on trial at Górnik Zabrze, where he scored one goal in two appearances for the club's Młoda Ekstraklasa team. In winter, he and his teammate Wojciech Król were on trial with Reading, Tottenham Hotspur and Legia Warszawa. Milik ended the season with ten appearances and four goals for Rozwój Katowice.
Despite offers from other clubs, on 1 July 2011 Milik signed a one-year contract with Górnik Zabrze for a fee of 500,000 złotys. Milik made his Ekstraklasa debut on 31 July in a 1–1 draw with Śląsk Wrocław; in the 53rd minute, he was substituted by Daniel Gołębiewski.
On 17 December 2012, German Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen confirmed they had signed Milik on a contract until summer 2018, for a reported transfer fee of €2.6 million. Milik failed to impress at Leverkusen though, making only 6 appearances before being demoted to the Leverkusen reserve team.
FC Augsburg (loan)
On 30 August 2013, FC Augsburg signed Milik on a one-year loan deal. The loan fee was reported to be €150,000, and composed of a base amount that decreased the more games Milik played for Augsburg and increased if Augsburg maintained its Bundesliga status. During his spell in Augsburg, he was capped in 18 matches, but he only scored 2 goals. However, he scored an equalizer in the 88th minute in a 2–2 home draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach, helping Augsburg earn a vital point.
2014–15 season (loan)
On 24 September 2014, Milik played in the first official Amsterdam derby to be contested since 1983 when Ajax took on JOS Watergraafsmeer in the KNVB Cup. Milik earned the man of the match award after scoring six out of the club's nine goals and assisting a further two in the Olympic Stadium. On 1 April 2015, Ajax reached an agreement with Bayer Leverkusen to purchase Milik outright on a four-year deal for a reported €2.8 million fee.
On 26 June 2015, Ajax announced Milik would replace departing striker Kolbeinn Sigþórsson as the club's number 9 for the 2015–16 season, switching from kit number 19. Milik scored his first goal that season in a UEFA Champions League qualifier against Rapid Wien, making the scoreline 1–2. The game was eventually lost 2–3 and the two-legged tie 4–5 on aggregate to Rapid, relegating Ajax to the UEFA Europa League play-off against Czech side Jablonec.
Milik scored his first goal of the 2015–16 Eredivisie season against Willem II after newly appointed captain Davy Klaassen provided him with a cross, which Milik headed-in. Ajax went on to win the game 3–0 after a brace from Anwar El Ghazi. In the first leg of the Europa League play-off qualifier against Jablonec, Milik scored a penalty after Klaassen was fouled in the box; the goal was the winner in a 1–0 match. During the beginning of the season, Milik also scored goals against Willem II, NEC and Excelsior. Nearly a month later, on 31 October, he began a scoring streak again, this time scoring two against Roda JC in a 6–0 rout. Milik also scored league goals against Cambuur on 11 November and Heerenveen on 5 December, the latter in which he also missed a penalty. On 26 November, Milik scored the 1–1 equalizer against Celtic in the Europa League group stage, where Ajax went on to win 2–1 away in Glasgow. On 20 December, Ajax's final match before the winter break, he also scored the opening goal against De Graafschap in an eventual 2–1 home victory at the Amsterdam Arena.
After the winter break, Milik was out of form and got a lot of criticism, having gone scoreless in Ajax's first three Eredivisie matches. He broke his poor run of form by scoring against Roda JC on 31 January 2016 in a 2–2 away draw. On 21 February, against Excelsior, he then scored a brace, while in Ajax's next home game, on 28 February, he scored another two goals against AZ. One week later, on 6 March, Milik scored against Willem II in an eventual 0–4 away win in Tilburg.
Milik signed with Napoli on 1 August 2016; his €35 million transfer was officially confirmed by the club the following afternoon. He made his club debut on 27 August, scoring his first two goals for Napoli in a 4–2 home win over Milan in Serie A. He scored braces again against Dynamo Kyiv and Bologna in September, but on 8 October, Milik tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a Polish international fixture against Denmark and was expected to be out for the rest of the season. However, as of 12 February 2017, he resumed playing and was fielded again on 15 February in the Champions League match against Real Madrid.
In September, Milik suffered his second anterior cruciate ligament injury in under 12 months – in his other knee, on this occasion – and was expected to be ruled out for at least four months; in January 2018, he underwent medical tests and was cleared to resume training.
UEFA Euro 2016
On 11 October 2014, Milik scored the opening goal in a 2–0 win over world champions Germany in a 2016 UEFA Euro qualifying match. This was Poland's first win over Germany, who had not lost in 19 competitive games and 33 previous qualifiers. Milik formed a successful strike partnership with Robert Lewandowski during qualification for the European Championships, with additional goals coming in a 2–2 draw with Scotland, a 4–0 win away to Georgia and another 4–0 defeat of the same opposition at the National Stadium in Warsaw.
In Euro 2016, Milik scored for Poland in their opening game, beating Northern Ireland 1–0. He also netted his attempt in his nation's penalty shootout exit to eventual champions Portugal in the quarter-finals.
2018 FIFA World Cup
Milik appeared in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. His nation was defeated 2–1 in their opening match against Senegal, and then lost 3–0 in their second group match against Colombia. Poland managed a 1–0 win over Japan in their final group match, but were eliminated in the first round.
Style of play
Usually deployed as an out-and-out striker, Milik is a versatile and well-rounded left-footed forward who is also capable of playing off another forward as a second striker or as a winger, due to his ability to both score and create goals. He possesses pace and good movement off the ball, as well as a powerful and accurate shot, which make him an excellent finisher and goalscorer; he is also physically strong, agile, and a good header of the ball, which allows him to excel in the air. His playing style has been compared to that of his compatriot Robert Lewandowski in the Polish sports media. Regarded as a promising young striker in his youth, in 2012, Don Balón named him one of the 101 most promising young players in the world born after 1991.
- As of match played 8 August 2020
|FC Augsburg (loan)||2013–14||18||2||2||0||–||20||2|
- As of match played 7 September 2020
- As of match played 13 October 2019. Poland score listed first, score column indicates score after each Milik goal.
|1||14 December 2012||Mardan Sports Complex, Aksu, Turkey||4||Macedonia||Friendly|
|2||6 June 2014||Stadion Energa Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland||9||Lithuania|
|3||11 October 2014||National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland||11||Germany||UEFA Euro 2016 qualification|
|4||14 October 2014||12||Scotland|
|5||14 November 2014||Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi, Georgia||13||Georgia|
|6||18 November 2014||Stadion Miejski, Wrocław, Poland||14||Switzerland||Friendly|
|7||13 June 2015||National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland||16||Georgia||UEFA Euro 2016 qualification|
|8||7 September 2015||19||Gibraltar|
|10||17 November 2015||Stadion Miejski, Wrocław, Poland||22||Czech Republic||Friendly|
|11||12 June 2016||Stade de Nice, Nice, France||27||Northern Ireland||UEFA Euro 2016|
|12||4 September 2017||National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland||36||Kazakhstan||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|13||20 November 2018||Estádio D. Afonso Henriques, Guimarães, Portugal||45||Portugal||2018–19 UEFA Nations League A|
|14||13 October 2019||National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland||49||North Macedonia||UEFA Euro 2020 qualification|
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- Arkadiusz Milik at Soccerway
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