Jeremy Menez - Player Profile

Milan’s Top Scorer Expected To Shine in Derby

Personal information 
Full name: Jeremy Menez
Date of birth: 7 May 1987
Age: 27
Place of birth: Longjumeau, Essonne, France
Height: 1.82 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)
Playing position: Forward/Winger

Club information
Current team:
 AC Milan 

Youth career 1994–1995: CA Vitry 
1995–2000: CFF Paris 
2000–2001: CSF Bretigny 
2001–2004: Sochaux

Senior career2004–2006 Sochaux 63 Appearances, 7 goals 
2006–2008 Monaco 62 Appearances, 14 goals 
2008–2011 Roma 112 Appearances, 12 goals 
2011–2014 PSG 110 Appearances, 19 goals
2014– Milan 30 Appearances, 16 goals

National team2002–2003 France U16 14 Appearances, 12 goals
2003–2004 France U17 17 Appearances, 6 goals 
2005 France U18 6 Appearances, 6 goals 
2005–2006 France U19 9 Appearances, 3 goals 
2008 France U21 3 Appearances, 0 goals 
2010– France 24 Appearances, 2 goals

At a certain point, it's hard to deny the numbers: AC Milan's Jeremy Menez is second among Serie A scorers, and he deserves credit. Those 16 goals are somewhat deceiving. Half of them are penalties. But when you're up there with Cristiano Ronaldo in any category—only the Real Madrid star has scored more from 12 yards—it's not so bad.

Menez joined AC Milan after falling out of favour at Paris Saint-German and has made his name as an attacking midfielder or versatile winger for Monaco and Roma in the past. However, with Milan looking slightly toothless in the number nine department this season following the sale of Mario Balotelli to Liverpool, the Frenchman has led the line with aplomb for the Rossoneri this term. Menez went from being a substitute on a star-studded squad to the main attraction. He is reborn under Filippo Inzaghi. It was Inzaghi, after all, who personally went to Ibiza to convince Menez. Still, the first-year coach does not want any praise—at least publicly—even if Menez is the only real success that Inzaghi can claim this season. Menez has poked some critical goals ensuring valuable victories for Milan and turning potential defeats into draws or even victories. Despite not having been used in a similar position in the past, the 27-year-old has displayed the movement and eye for goal, making him arguably Milan’s Player of the Season. Had this experiment to play Menez as a central striker not materialised, Milan might well be in the lower reaches of the division.

Milan are currently in eighth place in Serie A, but could have been a lot worse off. Menez has saved as many as 25 points with his goals—roughly 60 percent of Milan's current points total (42). The 27-year-old is now the guy keeping other players on the bench. How the roles have changed. Inzaghi played him from the start of the season, and Menez has not slowed down. He once went eight matches without scoring but then duly hit the net four times in the next three games. If there's any stretch without a goal, he has made up for it. But it’s clear, Menez is profiting off all the guaranteed playing time that he never had before. He is the main man by default. He has been developed at Milan as a false nine out of necessity. Milan did not really have any trustworthy strikers to give Menez any competition. As good as the Frenchman has been, it is worth evaluating the contribution of the squad’s other attackers, as at times the France international has looked like the team’s sole offensive threat. Following Fernando Torres’ lacklustre spell in Milan, the Rossoneri swapped the ex-Chelsea forward for Atletico Madrid’s Alessio Cerci. The former Torino playmaker has yet to show his best form since returning to Italy, but this is to be expected given his lack of regular first-team football in the Spanish capital over the last six months.

There is no refuting that Menez is thriving on a subpar team. On much better clubs, the Frenchman simply did not cut it—neither at AS Roma nor at PSG. As PSG signed better players, his playing time went down until he was an afterthought. He could not break the 10-goal barrier or make an impact. He has done that and more at Milan. Even as the fans protested during the match against Cagliari last month, with the club slumping on the field and off, it was Menez who went on to earn the win, almost single-handedly. He is the only entertainment the Rossoneri can offer right now. Had Menez not adapted to a new position with such ease, a rather toothless-looking Rossoneri could well be in even more strife than they are already in. He could well further his fan club if he makes an impact in the Milan Derby.