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Tuesday July 23 2013
Milan don't need new buys

Milan have so far failed to make any signings this summer, but Alex Mott wonders if that will work to their advantage.

Silly season has started all over Europe. Between June and August 31, the football world goes into overdrive with no rumour seemingly off limits. Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Napoli? Why not? Lionel Messi to Monaco? That’ll work. But despite all the nonsense and hokum that is spouted over the summer transfer window, genuine, bona fide deals have been struck in Serie A.

Clubs all over the peninsula have seen big names out of the door, but crucially parted with cash to see other marquee players come back in. Fiorentina let Stevan Jovetic go to Manchester City for €30m, but reinvested some of that for Bayern Munich hitman Mario Gomez and Palermo’s Josip Ilicic. Inter have been incredibly busy, gambling on young starlets Ishak Belfodil and Mauro Icardi.

Under Rafael Benitez, Napoli are coming to terms with Edinson Cavani’s exit by splashing out on Real Madrid pair Raul Albiol and Jose Maria Callejon, with Los Blancos teammate Gonzalo Higuain expected to arrive at the Partenopei very soon.

Juventus have added to their already world-class squad by signing up Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente for the grand total of €9m.

Lazio have brought in Anderlecht’s highly-rated midfielder Lucas Biglia and, just as good as a signing, seem set to keep hold of star playmaker Hernanes. On the other side of the capital, new Roma boss Rudi Garcia has opened up the American cheque book for Mehdi Benatia, Douglas Maicon and Morgan De Sanctis. Even Parma have got in on the act – Antonio Cassano has left the bright lights of San Siro and shacked up at Stadio Ennio Tardini.

That then, just leaves Milan. The Rossoneri. ‘The Most Successful Club in World Football,’ as they so often tell everyone. Rumours have been circulating all summer over potential signings for Massimiliano Allegri’s men. Ilicic was on the verge of a transfer, but chose the Viola instead. Adem Ljajic was meant to be on his way, but Robinho stayed put and the deal was off. Keisuke Honda has been signalling his intent to sign for the Diavolo for months – so far, nothing.

Some fans may bemoan the lack of ‘names’ coming into the club, but in this age of upheaval for the Italian top flight, is it in fact a good thing? With so many top teams making huge changes this summer, will Milan’s squad and managerial consistency actually be to their advantage in 2013-14?

We saw last season that the departures of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Pippo Inzaghi and a number of legends affected the team in a huge way. By October, losses to Udinese, Atalanta, Lazio, Inter and Sampdoria had all but ended their Scudetto challenge. But just one defeat post-Christmas showed the Rossoneri faithful that there was still something to shout about.

Mattia De Sciglio is a year older, Stephan El Shaarawy has a campaign under his belt. If the Confederations Cup is anything to go by, Mario Balotelli is as sharp as ever. This young team has gotten over the shock of losing a dozen of their best players and proved in the second half of last term that they are a match for anyone.

All this, added to the fact that Silvio Berlusconi stuck with Coach Allegri is proof positive that the Diavolo can challenge for the title come August, no matter who they do – or don’t – sign this summer.

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Have your say...
Galliani's Transfer Policy: Identify areas of weakeness and wait 1 week til the transfer market. Then scan market for all the bosman transfers available and sign the best available bosmans for AC Milan. When superstars like Thiago Silva leave ensure they are accurately replaced with a player like Acerbi. CB is not of concern. Anyone with a heartbeat will suit us fine. Start looking for bosman transfers available in January. pray you don't face Barcelona in CL again. berlusconi happy no $ spent!
on the 24th July, 2013 at 2:56pm
Milan will be fine.
This time last year they lost an unprecedented number of Legends, Ibra, Inzaghi, Seedorf, T Silva, Cassano, Gattuso, Pato, Van Bommel (& Pirlo the year before) and still finished 3rd. This season they will easily finish 2nd & reach the Champions league quarter finals (unless they get Barca in the last 16 for the 3rd year in a row).

The problem is "fine" is not good enough for Milan. One top centre-back and one top midfielder would be all that is needed for a real challenge.
on the 24th July, 2013 at 2:15pm
"We saw last season that the departures of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Pippo Inzaghi and a number of legends affected the team in a huge way"

-- well, ya, when you lose 2 players who were in the top 5 at their positions in the world, it's gonna gave a negative effect. It was change without replacement, not the change itself that hurt - evidenced by the fact that when Balo effectively replaced Ibra (technically a reverse shakeup)the ship righted itself. As for Pipo? Umm, ya, no effect
on the 24th July, 2013 at 2:08pm
@Boss, well said.

@mustpuffer, if you don't like the author/blog don't post you jester.

As for Milan, what do milan fans seriously think of the club they support? Your president is apparently going to prison because hs is extremely shady, everyone bangs on about match fixing, yet here we have a team with a pervert for a owner. You sell players for a lot of money yet plead poverty? Yet you don't question the bunga bunga parties?

If i supported milan, id be hoping for a new owner or go 2 juve
on the 24th July, 2013 at 12:50pm
Give me a decent centre-back, and Milan can make do great things.
Having a top CB play alongside Mexes/Zapata is good enough.
The lineup can poetentially be: (4-3-2-1): Abbiati; MdS, Mexes, CB, Abate; Montolivo, NdJ, Poli; El Shaarawy, Honda; Balotelli.
on the 24th July, 2013 at 12:24pm
If Milan could pick up a top level defender and a new Keeper then they wouldn't be far off where they need to be. It's a shame Robinho wasn't sold as his wages could of been used elsewhere.

For me Milan's transfer activity has been smarter than Napoli's, who appear to be wasting vast amounts of money for the sake of it, rather than pinpointing specific weaknesses in the team. £30m for Higuain is ridiculous, and only ADL is to blame for announcing they have roughly £120m to spend.#takenforaride
on the 24th July, 2013 at 12:12pm
For the years I have supported Milan, I have noticed we never spend big on any player!! The most expensive player on record was Manuel Rui Costa; and for &27m! It was big in those years! But the team has been built on shrewd business ethics and not bulging sacks. We will do better than most!
on the 24th July, 2013 at 11:33am
Milan have a good team, not great but good and desperately need a couple of good defenders, however I have to say milan fans should never be too worried seeing as they get a penalty every other game they should always finish top 3.
on the 24th July, 2013 at 7:29am
O course they don't need new signings. Their intentions is not to be in the top 7 this year :D
on the 24th July, 2013 at 1:32am
Milan defense is OK. Maybe 1 more centre back.They allready have world class striker partnership in elsa-balo. What they really need is someone who can be the new andrea pirlo to control every Milan game.
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 10:23pm
I'm going to stop moaning. I'm going to believe in the project. Vergara, Poli, Saponara and Honda could be decent signings. Our midfield might see a marked improvement with the return of De Jong along side Montilvio and Poli. Maybe Sapanora could do things at trequartista. Perhaps SES could play like he did at the start of last season. Maybe Balo will continue to score (without relying on penalties so much). We might have a decent season. I am worried about the defence though so I hope I'm wrong
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 9:59pm
My number one concern is the defence. Mexes and Bonera were liabilities last season and I cannot believe Milan have not even looked to sign a centre back. We lost out on Ogbonna so please can we sign Astori. Milan don't need any other signings. We need to sell players to reduce the size of the squad and not crowd out the other players in the squad particularly younger players. BUT.......
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 9:54pm
@mustafa

Hahahahah the wise man has returned. Remember we won more CL titles and gone further then ANY other team Italy. Now be quiete
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 9:01pm
The BIG question is will ses and balo when given time together work out? If so that would be incredible. Honda as trequarista. De young and montilivo mid, noccerino (if on a good spell) abate and de scigilio l and r def. Astori and Zapata center backs
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 8:08pm
@ben

Do not put niang on loan. Give him one more year.. Even if he didn't score he played excellent for being 18
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 8:02pm
As long as they sign new center backs I'm satisfied. Ljajic would be an incredible signing but old fart Robinho blocked that.

I'm happy with out left d right d, mid and clearly the offense but mexes and bonera are horrible.. Zapata is alright
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 7:59pm
Yes the don't.

They only need dubious penalty decisions to secure their champions league spot as usual.

The article is just a load of crap.
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 7:17pm
With Honda,Milan have the potential to win Serie A and Coppa Italia.But I don't see them reaching that potential with a coach like Allegri.Fiorentina are the team to watch this year.Roma are looking good too.Lazio have a solid squad but no depth.Inter and Napoli are no threat.I hope Milan win Serie A but without Honda or Ljalic I predict 1.Fiorentina 2.Juventus 3.Milan 4.Roma 5.Lazio 6.Napoli 7.Inter
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 6:50pm
i don't know what to say about Milan,i cant see them doing anything this year with that back 5 and i think their midfield is average at best Milan are like arsenal need about 5 or 6 more than decent players,i cant see past juve they have won the last two campaigns without a 20 plus a season forward.i dont think milan can get anywhere near juve and they are the benchmark,you can bang about ses niang etc etc but their back 4 and midfield isn't pulling up many trees.@ BOSS you crack me up lol lol
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 6:39pm
@ BOSSS

So spending 20m on Balotelli, 10m on Prince, 15m on Robinho and 16m on El Shaarawry are examples of Milan not buying?
Not the biggest spenders around..but why spend for the sake of it? Difference is, if you plead poverty then you can normally drive the price down when you DO spend. Any business appreciates closing a deal at the cheapest price possible...that theory applies here. It takes a lot more nous to construct a team in this manner than throwing millions at every player out there
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 6:39pm
With Honda,I will be satisfied with the transfer market.I just hate the fact that there's so much dead weight in the squad whose salaries make Milan poor.There's 33 players in the squad!Bayern won the treble with 25!Emanuelson,Nocerino,Zaccardo,Antonini,just have no place in the squad.Even Prince should be sold.He's a good player but doesn't love the team.He barely makes an effort anymore.The image of Milan is suffering but I'll be positive and consider this another transition year.
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 6:31pm
Putting aside finances purely based on the size of the squad milan really shouldn't be looking to sign anyone until they get rid of a number of players. The only exception being if milan is able to pick someone up of exceptional quality for a low value price than and only than is it really acceptable.

As for quality of the team in my opinion it is able to achieve 2 or 3 spot with this set of players, however if milan is going to compete in the medimum term the 2014 = decent centre back signings
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 6:26pm
Milan have a solid squad and made a couple of smart signings in Saponara,Poli,and Vergara but without someone like Honda there's little chance of a top 3 finish.Also,there's too much dead weight in the squad.With 33 players I think Milan would benefit from selling Emanuelson,Zaccardo,Antonini,Nocerino,Prince who contribute little to none in the squad.
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 6:19pm
If burlesconi/Galliani love the club as much as they say they do, but don't have the finances to maintain it at the level a club of this stature deserves then why don’t they at least explore the option of selling a stake in the club. Regarding transfers they need another centre back, the Barcelonas, Madrids, Bayern Munichs of this world would have no problem getting past the current centre back pairing of Mexes/Zapata……but don't bank on this happening
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 6:02pm
@BOSS, I totally agree, for a club as renowned as Milan it is embarrassing to see the way they just sneak around the transfer market hoping for a cheap bargain here and there. Galliani claimed they tracked Strootman but did not have 20 million to spend. How, for such a big club, after the sales last year and im sure the much reduced wage bill can you not have 20 million to spend??
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 6:01pm
Milan must try to sign Ljajic during this window. He is an exceptional talent who about to explode this year due to the absence of Jovetic. Missing out on him at such a juicy period (1 year to contract expiry) will be a huge blunder.

He may not be as effective as he is at Fiorentina but buying him would weaken a direct opponent of Milan. This is worth the 6-8 mn euros he would cost.
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 6:00pm
As a huge Milan fan I so want to agree, however, without another very good central defender, or, a surprising generous amount of playing time and success by the new, young (only 19) Colombian central defender Vergara, this team will still have a hole there that will be difficult to overcome and win the league. Maybe if Allegri goes to 3 defenders and 5 midfielders where the two outside midfielders track back and help the defense we will have a shot, but I am not so sure.
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 5:55pm
Said it like a BOSS....

From what I can see Milan have a decent team but they badly need two center backs and a goalkeeper. Julio Cesar would be a good signing.

Viola is the team to watch, they surprised me with the signings of Gomez & Ilicic.

Napoli signing two Spanish players made me LOL, can't wait to watch Rafa work his magic as he did during his short spell with Inter.

Juventus signed some good players, hope they do well in the UCL.
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 5:40pm
Milan will be fine, so long as they get their customary 20 game-changing penalties.
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 5:40pm
@BOSS

Balancing books is part of managing a great club, the new financial fair play rules are forcing clubs without heavy investors to do exactly what Milan is doing. Personally i feel Milan should be commanded for their ability to sell average players for a lot of money. If only Juve could sell our players at half the prices that Milan is selling theirs we would be much closer to clubs like Bayern in terms of quality.
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 5:34pm

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