Patrick Cutrone says he is ‘ready and excited’ to be joining Wolves as he prepares to be unveiled as the club’s second new summer signing.
The 21-year-old striker flew to England on Monday and will undergo a medical on Tuesday before joining his new team-mates after Wolves agreed a fee of £16m plus add-ons with AC Milan. Cutrone has agreed a four-year contract to become Wolves’ first permanent capture of the summer, and he will be the first Italian to play for Wolves in the club’s 142-year history. He follows on-loan Real Madrid centre back Jesus Vallejo as the club’s second capture of the summer.
“I’m ready and excited to join Wolverhampton. It’s a big challenge for me. I will look to do my best. Now I only think about integrating well and doing well there,” said Cutrone, speaking to Italian media at Milan airport.
The one-capped Italy international is moving from a club he has been at since he was nine, and, understandably, took his time over making such a big decision. But his mind was made up after reportedly being told by Milan coach Marco Giampaolo that his chances of regular first-team football would be severly restricted this season. Many fans were very disappointed to see him go.
“Reading all the messages from the fans made me emotional,” added Cutrone. “It means that I’ve done a good thing. Am I disappointed? Well you have seen yourselves, I have nothing to say. I am always ready and charged.
“I wish the best for Milan fans and my team-mates. My departure from Milan affects me as well, but that’s life and some decisions are taken.”
Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo is said to be very excited at the prospect of working with Cutrone, who is seen as ideal competition for Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota, as well as offering something a bit different.
Nuno has been keen to strengthen Wolves’ attack all summer after allowing Helder Costa and Ivan Cavaleiro to leave. There was interest in Albion striker Salomon Rondon and Liverpool’s £10m-rated versatile Portuguese attacker Rafael Camacho before Cutrone’s name was linked.
Known for his eye for goal, Cutrone has been described as a ‘true number nine’ by Italian football pundits. His main attributes are his physical strength, positioning, aerial ability, and heading, plus opportunism, movement, and ability to read the game; like the tireless Jimenez, he also been praised for his workrate off the ball.
Cutrone has scored 13 goals in 63 Serie A appearances for Milan, of which 29 have been starts, but it’s in European competition where he has flourished, netting 11 times in 22 games.
After making his debut as a replacement for Wolves FA Cup semi-final conqueror Gerard Deulofeu in May 2017 in a 3-0 Serie A win over Bologna, he bagged 16 goals in 42 matches in 2017-18 – his first full season to cement his place as Milan’s first-choice striker. He scored seven in his first 16 games last season before tailing off, with nine in 43 outings in total.
He has been compared to renowned former AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi, who used to train him while working as a coach with the club’s youth sector from 2012-14.
Cutrone has already proved himself a winner in his short career. He was part of the Italy squad that won the 2015 Under-17 European Championships and the Under-19 European Championships a year later, scoring 27 goals in 57 appearances for his country from Under-15 to Under-21 level inclusive.