The reported departures of Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Milan might not be such a bad thing after all, argues Dave Taylor.
Any revolution that was planned by Milan after their timid defence of the Scudetto last season looks to be over already if it is true about the sale of their only two world class players Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva.
At least that is what some fans think, looking at the various forums.
“Anything is possible as the transfer market is very unpredictable. It has happened in the past and it can happen again this season,” hinted Vice-President Adriano Galliani earlier this week.
With both Juve and Inter leading busy transfer campaigns, Milan fans are left wondering when and if their club is going to bring in a big name. Yes they are aware that there are financial problems and it seems free signings and co-ownerships are a sign of the times for the club, but it doesn’t stop them wanting a big name.
Of course, they know their club needs to be aware of the new UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations, which means they need to lower their massive wage bill, stop big spending on players and live within their means to make a profit or they will find themselves locked out of Europe. Milan’s proposed sale of Silva and Ibra to Paris Saint-Germain shows how serious they are over this particular aspect.
Yet, with this money available it will be highly unusual if Galliani has not got something up his sleeve already. Indeed, today’s Gazzetta dello Sport reports that he already has several players in mind if both the sales go through. Names like Edin Dzeko, Carlos Tevez and Mattia Destro as well as Lass Diarra, Aleksandar Kolarov and Dede are all mentioned.
Although it is sad to lose Silva and Ibra, it’s probably the Brazilian’s loss that will be most keenly felt. However, with the finances boosted and according to the Gazzetta, a saving in wages combined with the transfer fee amounting to €170m, they cannot afford to turn it down. Also, there are still seven weeks to go before the transfer window closes and two or three potentially top buys are far from fantasy.
A point of concern, though, is that whilst neither Ibra nor Silva were quite Bandieri, they were players who could be relied on for the big occasion. The end-of-season exit of some of the club’s senatori - Clarence Seedorf, Alessandro Nesta, Filippo Inzaghi and Gennaro Gattuso was a massive loss, and although none of them finished as regular first-teamers - Nesta started the most with 16 games - they exemplified the heart and soul of the Rossoneri.
The remaining players might be able to hold their own at the top but those veterans had elegance, composure under attack, they had pride in the shirt and, most of all, experience at the very highest level - one that alongside captain Massimo Ambrosini only Ibra and Silva have.
However, one player’s absence is another’s chance to prove himself. There are some great youngsters and five new players at Milanello who will be willing to show Coach Massimiliano Allegri what they have. It all depends on how quickly he can mould a new team into a united squad willing to fight hard on three fronts. Let’s not forget with Alexandre Pato, Antonio Cassano and Mathieu Flamini were missing for most of the season as was Kevin Prince-Boateng.
If the Rossoneri can manage to avoid too many injuries, perhaps the revolution might not be called off after all, even without Ibrahimovic and Silva.