Is there finally light at the end of what has been a lengthy tunnel for AC Milan?
*Takeover completed on 13/04/17 by Chinese investor Yonghong Li
*370 million euros investment
*The Serie A outfit have already sealed 10 signatures
*Additions still expected to follow
*Milan will be pushing for top European spot
There has been a mysterious hole in the heart of Milan for quite some years. Little do we need reminding of the sparkling sides AC fielded for generations, but recent seasons have shown total unfamiliarities. It’s hard to believe Milan won the Champions League only ten years ago in 2007, winning a repeat final of which they lost to Liverpool the previous season.
The club frequently boasted some of the elite European stars, players such as Andrea Pirlo and Clarence Seedorf anchoring the midfield, Alessandro Nesta and the great Paolo Maldini protecting the Milan net, whilst Kaka and Andriy Schevchenko guaranteed goals wouldn’t be at a shortage.
Looking back at their five most recent seasons, Milan’s league campaigns have all been somewhat disappointing, 2012/13 – 3rd, 2013/14 – 8th, 2014/15 – 10th, 2015/16 – 7th and 2016/17 – 6th. Previous owner Silvio Berlusconi was by no means a popular man at the San Siro, notorious for his tight spending and see-saw relationships with management and staff.
So how will Yonghong Li’s electric spending fare? His fantasy football approach has been highly raved about by the papers and footballing fans. Here are his signings so far…
Leonardo Bonucci – Centre Back (£35 million)
Without a doubt, this is the most shocking recruitment of Milan’s crazy summer. The Italian waved goodbye to his armored back-three at Juventus where he operated for seven seasons. This could we be the transfer which propels Milan’s new fortunes.
Leonardo Bonucci Serie A pass accuracy:
2012/13 = 88.5%
2013/14 = 90.2%
2014/15 = 86.1%
2015/16 = 86.7%
2016/17 = 87.2%
Ball-playing CB. 🎯 pic.twitter.com/k3GwbA9NHl
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 15, 2017
Andre Silva – Striker (£33.5 million)
The young Portuguese forward established himself as one of Europe’s top prospects last season for FC Porto, as he put away 21 goals in just 44 appearances at the age of 21. He looks so promising that even his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo spurred on his Real Madrid side to sign Silva. Watch this space!
Cristiano Ronaldo: “When I retire, Portugal will be in good hands.”
Huge praise for André Silva. 🙌
Here’s Squawka Suggests… pic.twitter.com/CH5ACJfKNf
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 13, 2017
Franck Kessie – Central Midfielder (£17 million)
The 20-year-old attracted interest from a whole host of Premier League clubs, including Manchester United and Chelsea. However, the Ivorian opted for Milan who has signed him on an initial two-year loan with the option to buy at the end of the contract.
Franck Kessie’s Serie A season by numbers:
Promising midfielder. ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/6YP807bqwP
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 2, 2017
Lucas Biglia – Defensive Midfielder (£17 million)
The Argentine has been an integral part of Lazio’s side for the past four years. Biglia places himself in front of defenders, working to relieve pressure and also shows he is a neat passer of the ball. He may find his defensive duties are slightly relieved after Milan’s recent marquee signings, enhancing his role as more of a box to box player.
Lucas Biglia’s Serie A season by numbers:
87% pass acc.
66 tackles won
54 chances created
Well rounded. https://t.co/5yTPDbRfnj
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 16, 2017
Hakan Calhanoglu – Central Attacking Midfielder (£17 million)
Expected to slot in for fan favorite Keisuke Honda in the main creative role. Fans should be excited to see his signature specialty free kicks. At only 23 the Turkish international is very much still a promising prospect with plenty of potential to fulfill.
Most free-kick goals in Europe’s top 5 leagues since 2013/14:
Hakan Calhanoglu (11)
Miralem Pjanic (10)
Leo Messi (10)
Set-piece masters 🎯 pic.twitter.com/0xxFcMi8WR
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 15, 2017
Mateo Musacchio – Centre Back (15.5 million)
The former Villarreal sweeper is a fine addition, roaring with physical presence and a touch of flashy footwork as was witnessed in a clip which went viral against Borussia Dortmund. He is likely to partner Bonucci and Romagnoli in a menacing back-three.
Ricardo Rodriguez – Left Back (£15 million)
The Swiss left back arrived from a successful spell at Wolfsburg to join the Serie A big spenders. Surprisingly, for someone who seems as though he’s already been at the top of his game for a while, Rodriguez is only 24. He is known for his technical ability on the ball, a high range of passing and a great delivery through set pieces should make this a bargain capture.
Ricardo Rodríguez has registered more assists (24) in the Bundesliga since joining Wolfsburg than any other defender. 🎯 pic.twitter.com/tcOFwQ7pCl
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 6, 2017
Andrea Conti – Right Wing Back (£8 million)
Another youngster who impressed in Atlanta‘s 2016/17 campaign. Conti is a talented Italian wing back who made 33 appearances as he helped guide Atlanta to a credible fourth placed finish in Serie A. Milan have been without a quick wing back who is prepared to cover the flanks, and Conti looks to be a player who can re-inject some excitement down the right-hand side.
Fabio Borini – Striker (£4.8 million)
This recruitment may come as a slightly more controversial one. Borini rather struggled throughout his time up front for Liverpool and Sunderland most recently. Although the last three to four seasons have been quiet for the forward, he is rated highly in Italy and had been widely tipped to be a success at a tender age. At only 24, Borini still has time to get his career on track.
Antonio Donnarumma – Goalkeeper (£1 million)
This one appears a slightly bizarre acquisition. There had been strong rumors the transfer was only made to manipulate his brother (Gianluigi) to remain at the club amid heavy speculation he was on his way out the door. Nevertheless, if the switch for £1 million did help to keep main man Gianluigi stay between the San Siro posts, this will prove to be a clever move.
Donnarumma made more saves in Serie A last season (147) than any other goalkeeper.
(Via Squawka ) pic.twitter.com/nS3GrTxq7C
— AccumulatorON (@AccumulatorOn) July 11, 2017
Could this be Milan’s year?