Market Assessment – How YOU Doin?

What I Like:

1. The Bonucci Signing – Zvonproir Boban critiqued Milan’s transfer window just after halfway through the window with the comment, “They’ve signed good players, but no one world-class.” Fair point. Not after the Bonucci signing, though. It seems the club agreed, as someone was able to expel Montolivo from the halls of Rohan and return the King to his former glory.

2. The Rest of the Defense – Conti is a gazelle on the right flank, and the man covers turf like it’s nothing. He’s more stable than Abate defensively, and looks like he’s 10 years away from the gender reassignment Abate’s hairstylist is trying to bring about. Initially thought of as a Montella-requested signing held-over from last season’s mediocrity; it looks like that may be incorrect. Musacchio has impressed with technical play, intelligent positioning, often flanking danger with a dip in positioning or a step to close the percieved space. Ricardo Rodriguez has @DeScigliofans ready to end it. Selling De Sciglio before Rodriguez debuted might be one of the most underrated pieces of the Milan transfer window so far. Which brings us to

3. The Bonucci Deal: Part Deux- Selling De Sciglio for 12m. 30m + De Sciglio got us Bonucci. That is the analysis for this section. Holy shit this happened.

4. Front-Loading the Reboot – It’s an easy target to pick at the club’s spending and say it was unsustainable, however there are a few points to make on that. Firstly, City spent more money on outside full-backs than Milan spent on the 10 signings they have through mid-August. Secondly, it’s not meant to be sustainable. The plan isn’t to overhaul the squad every single summer; it is the plan to get this hulking shitbeast of a squad into something that resembles the Milan of old. Sure you need to go through the mid-90’s squads to end up with an early 2000’s squad, and more luck and ambition than they have in store now to end up with a world-beating Sacchi team. Fassone and Mirabelli have added depth to the XI (which FWIW, is improved from last season’s XI, another side with a quality starter list, and a shit bench) -it’s reasonable Calhanoglu, Bonaventura, Suso, and even Andre Silva end up on the bench certain weeks, and that’s not the end of the world for this squad. Financial Fair Play is designed on a multi-year scale, and should Milan be able to increase their commercial revenues in China, qualify for the Champions League, and improve their attendance markedly, as seen so far, the unsustainability claims should fade out.

5. Monto-Leading Out the Door – Sure, the former captain is harder to get rid of than Athlete’s Foot in the 1930s but now that he’s the third choice at his position and has to be played as a mezzala, his natura-just kidding. It’s tough to sell someone so massively overpaid, and so Milan are left holding the bag on the leader. Biglia is more talented in every area than Montolivo, and Locatelli has more promise. Expect to see less of Atalanta’s least successful Milan player.

6. Patrick Cutrone – This is worthy of it’s own article, and once I have a bit more to go on, I’ll give you one. Jump on the bandwagon early; this kid has it.

7. Kessie – Buy your kit now. The most essential midfield piece Milan have had since early-Pirlo.

What I’d Like – This is where it gets tricky. If you believe speculation, there’s 80m left to spend. Silvio is rolling over a 17-year-old prostitute in his grav…sorry his bed. This side is missing a marquee signing. The big one to make you go wow. Bonucci would have been it in any other market, but based on the timing of the signing, the angling for a striker, and the relative silence of the management with regards to opportunities still on the market, more looms. I’d like to see a Belotti or an Aubumeyang, but the price tag is in charge of if that happens. Is either worth 80m+? The answer to that isn’t about the player, it’s about the market, and maybe they are.

If it was me in charge, I would go for Aubumeyang (in a bubble, of course, as it looks BVB wouldn’t sell both Dembele AND Aubumeyang in the same window, in August) because say in the worst case scenario he fails. You can ship a player like him off to China, and recouperate much of your initial fee. Belotti? Not so much, his appeal is limited to Italy. Does that mean he’s the wrong call? Not at all, it just means that if you’re hedging the most expensive purchase of the window, and perhaps in Milan history, you would go with Aubumeyang. That being said, so many dozens of other forces are in play that speculating without them is irresponsible. Either way, for the first time in a long time, I can say with confidence, “I know they’ll do a good job”. Do I know if they’ll be right? No, of course not. But based on the way the club managed the market, the handling of Mino Raiola during the Donnarumma negotiations, and the deliberate pause and recalibration before the final sprint of the market tell me this is in good hands. Have you begun to hope again?


Follow me on Twitter @PDAcquaviva

About Pete Acquaviva

Pete writes about Milan on this blog. Occasionally other things. You would know which of them it is if you've gotten this far.

One Thought on “Market Assessment – How YOU Doin?

  1. Great read, you touched on all the key points. Keep it up.

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