Buidling Dreams Together


Your guide to AC Milan’s summer transfer business.

After finishing a lucky fourth in Serie A and being knocked out of the Champions League last four by arch rivals Internazionale, fans of the Rossoneri would be forgiven for thinking a tough season would lie ahead.

However new owners RedBird capital have invested heavily in the squad with an array of smart acquisitions, even if it meant losing legendary player Paolo Maldini as sporting director and key player Sandro Tonali to Newcastle for €65 million.  

It was clear after last season that any injuries to the starting XI would have a negative impact on the squad as the reserve players were not of sufficient quality to replace key starts. Just look at when Rafael Leao was injured in the Champions League semi final first leg loss vs Inter where the frontline was devoid of pace and quality. 

Having spent over €100 million so far it has been made crystal clear that the club hierarchy want to recapture the Scudetto in the upcoming season and once again get to the latter stages of Europe’s premier club competition. 

Christian Pulisic (€20 million)

Having joined Chelsea in the summer of 2019 it has not been easy going for ‘Captain America’ in London. The versatile frontman only registered three goal involvements in all competitions last season in a campaign that was riddled with injury and squad unrest.

However whenever he pulls on the United States strip he seemingly transforms into the attacking catalyst with jinking dribbles and smart interplay with teammates. Pulisic is comfortable on both wings and it is hoped he will be able to offer cover on the left for Leao who has been over relied on for a couple of seasons now. 

Having joined early in the window, Pulisic will have a whole pre-season behind him and if he can show his passion and hard work which he so often does for the national team then he is sure to become a fan favourite at the San Siro.

Credit: SBI Soccer

Tactically Pulisic will hug the touchline and combine well with hold up man Oliver Giroud but he does have the ability to play inverted due to his pace and trickery which could give Serie A full backs nightmares.

Samuel Chukwueze (€20 million) 

Joining Pulisic on the wings in Chukwueze who has joined for a bargain fee from La Liga outfit Villarreal. At the same age as Pulisic (24) it seems Milan will have the wide forward positions covered for years to come. 

The Nigerian right winger managed to get into both double figures for goals and assists last season in all competitions. Milan fans will be hoping for more of the same. His best form came towards the back end of the season and if Milan are ina tight race for the title then Chukwueze could come into his own.

Unlike Pulisic, Chukwueze prefers just to play on the right flank as that is where he can either take on a man down the line or cut inside and unleash a ferocious strike as he did on many occasions last year.  This proved he is comfortable on both feet which leaves his movements unpredticable for defenders.

Although he is a hard worker, last season Stefano Pioli made sure the right winger tucked into help cover the midfield due to Leao given zero defensive responsibility. This would have to change with Chukwueze as like Leao he is an outlet and should not be held back by defensive duties.

Yunus Musah (€20 million) 

Another American joining the ranks at Milan is Musah who has joined from a struggling Valencia side who escaped relegation on the last day of last season. Musah was no doubt a bright spot in that team though with his progressive passing and tempo setting giving Valencia a platform to play off. 

With the loss of Tonali, Musah will be expected to take up some of the slack in the box to box midfield role. He is not the all guns blazing type player Tonali is though, more like a Rolls-Royce type player who elegantly takes to the pitch. 

Credit: AC Milan

Musah plays his best football when next to a dogged defensive player and in Ismael Bennacer he has the perfect partner. This should give Musah freedom to push up the pitch and link with the frontline which has become a standout aspect of his game. 

In Pioli’s all guns blazing system, Musah offers the ability to calm things down which could prove very important when they are playing games of huge importance. 

Tijjani Reijnders (€19 million) 

The most unknown player on this list, Reijnders is a hard working technically brilliant footballer as fans who watched AZ Alkmaar in the Europa Conference League will know. Reijnders has a knack of getting into superb attacking positions, Frank Lampard-esque, as his seven goals and 12 assists showed last season. 

Although he may not look like a physical player, Reijnders is no slouch when it comes to tackling and intercepting passes. The clever midfielder has positional excellence and reads the game well which will be important in a relatively young team compared to other Serie A sides.

The Eredivisie is worlds apart from Serie A though where the quality of opposition teams is much higher. With Euro 2024 just round the corner Reijnders will hope his stint at AC Milan gets off to a positive start so he can make his way into the Netherlands setup.

Ruben Loftus Cheek (€16 million)

To end off the trio of midfielders brough in, Loftus Cheek is arguably the most like for like replacement for the departed Tonali due to his box to box style. His versatility should also help Pioli when coming up against different opponents as Loftus Cheek can play in any midfield position as well as in a back three as we saw under Graham Potter.

Like Pulisic, Loftus Cheek has left Chelsea with a point to prove and will want to show that Chelsea have made a mistake in letting him go to Italy, just like they did with Fikayo Tomori. If the midfielder gets anywhere near the success that Tomori has had then the future will be looking bright for the Rossoneri. 

Unlike any other of AC Milan’s current midfielders, Loftus Cheek can carry the ball up the field with his superb dribbling ability. This will offer AC Milan something different when playing against teams who set up in a low block which is no uncommon thing in Serie A.

If Loftus Cheek can rediscover his creativity and goalscoring touch that made him a name in the game in the first place then this could just be the best signing of the lot.

Noah Okafor (€14 million)

At just €14 million AC Milan have secured a backup striker to 36-year-old Giroud at a bargain fee. The Switzerland international scored three Champions League goals last term, one of them coming against his current employers in what was his standout campaign yet.

Okafor is not of the hold up play Giroud style but is a more active forward who likes to drop deep and link with the midfield before springing into action and making darting runs beyond the last man.

Credit: AC Milan

This will give Pioli some tactical versatility against sides with a slower backline while also allowing Giroud a bit of well earned rest as the number one striker. With the wide positions occupied by lighting quick players, Okafor will add another dilemma for defences. 

Even if he just scored eight-ten goals in his first campaign in Italy it would be deemed a huge success considering other squad players such as Divock Origi, Ante Rebic, Junior Messias and Rade Krunic could come nowhere near that tally combined last term.

Final thoughts:

With young additions made in midfield and attack to revitalise a stagnating squad, the Milan hierarchy can be proud of these exciting additions in what could propel the Rossoneri into title contenders once again. 

Even with the loss of influential players like Tonali and Brahim Diaz, if the new boys can get integrated quickly then Milan could be a team to keep your eye on not just domestically but also on the continental stage. 

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