Saturday June 10 2017
Milan mean business

Milan's rocket-fuelled start to the summer transfer session is about sending a message to Italy and Europe, writes Adam Summerton.

When it comes to football club ownership, as many supporters have found to their cost, actions most definitely speak louder than words. It’s why followers of Milan seem understandably optimistic after a very pro-active summer so far by the club’s new owners.  

The Rossoneri were always going to be in a greater rush than most, not least because their season begins in the third qualifying round of the Europa League on July 27. But the planning and spending we’ve seen so far is about much more than just being ready for that tie, as they seem really intent on sending out a message that they mean business.  

By June 8, to have extended Vincenzo Montella’s contract until 2019 and signed Mateo Musacchio, Franck Kessie and Ricardo Rodriguez is, just in terms of organisation and administration, a pretty impressive feat. And we hear there is still much more to come, with exciting names like Andrea Conti, Keita Balde Diao, Lucas Biglia and Andrea Belotti being spoken of.

It must be hard for Milan supporters, so eager for a return to the good old days, not to start getting carried away, but that would be a mistake. Yes, there is much to be positive and optimistic about, but there is also an awful lot of rebuilding still to do, and it’s so important that this is recognised and remembered – for the foreseeable future feet need to stay firmly on the ground.

I say this because I’ve observed a club that has been held back for several years, partly because of an inner unwillingness to fully accept and deal with its current status outside both the Italian and European elite. It’s a club that has fallen a long way, is crying out for stability, and one where there has been more pressure than patience - Coaches and players haunted by and sometimes judged on former glories.

You can’t build lasting success overnight, and to go from being a decent side to world-beaters in one summer is a rare feat – there almost always has to be a process and players who begin that journey can play their part, without necessarily being there until the successful conclusion. Suso, for example, is unlikely to ever be as good a player as say Roberto Donadoni, but right now he has a significant role to play in helping Milan towards a top-four finish.

Would Suso then be good enough, as a first-pick, to help them go on and challenge for the Scudetto, or the Champions League? I’m not so sure. But given the chance, this is a squad that can and will naturally evolve – it is how this great club, one with such vast potential, can negotiate the steep climb back to the top.

Overseeing all that will be Montella, who handled himself very well last season – remaining professional and dignified during the sizeable challenges of a protracted takeover, and delivering both a trophy and a return to European competition in his first season. He undoubtedly has a platform for growth, but will be mindful of the pressure and expectation that this financial outlay will bring.

The troubles of city rivals Inter came after a summer of optimism, where they were only outspent by Juventus, yet ended up experiencing a campaign of off-field upheaval and a seventh-place finish. Morale within the Nerazzurri squad seemed a big problem and that is something, particularly in the midst of an overhaul of the playing staff, which Montella will be keen to protect and promote at Milan. Throw in the potential for an extra 15+ games if things go well in the Europa League, and it’s clear that while the Rossoneri’s new era is off to a promising start.

There are many challenges ahead to overcome before Milan are truly back where they feel they belong.  

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
TBH, the best signing would be to keep Donna... but that doesnt seem to happen, which is absolutely outrageous.
on the 13th June, 2017 at 11:22pm
@Rosario I guess it is impossible for a side to take a player on loan more than once or to outright buy a player by negotiating with his parent club at the end of the season. Oh wait... Moving on from an inane conversation I'd like to see both Milan clubs competitive again and the likes of Napoli and Roma continuing with their progression.
on the 13th June, 2017 at 6:20pm
@Anon agree with you on the transfer values. Nowadays people seem to care more about a player's age than they actually do about their quality. As soon as an 18 year old striker has a good game he's instantly 'the next big thing'.
on the 13th June, 2017 at 3:27pm
@Dennis. Stop!!! Pasalic has already gone back to Chelsea as he was on loan and Deulofeu was also only on loan from everton and has gone back.
on the 13th June, 2017 at 2:53pm
transfer values seem to lack any logic these days prices of 100 million quoted for belotti 60 million for morata 120 for mbappe talk about a inflated market than for bizarre reason lacazette is worth 50 and p.e. aubameyang 60 million despite them both being consistent seasoned goalscorers. silva for 38 million in this current climate seems reasonable. it is better to pay a slight premium anyway rather than leave a deal to the last moment in order to pursue a bargain
on the 13th June, 2017 at 2:29pm
needs a goal like he did vs Juventus in the coppa. That was madness to me. Locatelli should play more and he is another that was inexplicably dropped while Passalic kept playing as did Sosa in the end. If someone can get the max from Deulofeu then that is 1 helluva player but for now his football brain is very bad. He has the talent but not the application. Andre Silva is a coup for Italian football but then again he has to be used properly.
on the 13th June, 2017 at 12:41pm
I have always liked Musacchio but he is injury prone that misses huge chunks of the season so be wary of that. I don't know why Montella did not try a system that'd allowed Suso to be closer to opponents goal instead of the wings or more bizarrely defending. The guy's got talent and can finish. Not convinced by Kucka, Passalic (shivers), Sosa. Bacca is quality not top draw but neither is Milan. He needs a manager that trusts him not 1 that rotates with Lapadula ffs or takes him off when his side
on the 13th June, 2017 at 12:23pm
@RS Milik spent most of the season crocked with a measly return of 8 in 23 games. Even when fit, he couldn't get back into the team. Is the dutch league any better than the Portuguese league? I don't think so. If anything, you can say that the quality of the Portuguese league is certainly of a higher level given the quality it has produced over many years. Regardless, Milik and Andre Silva are totally different players technically. There's no guarantee of success. But you have to at least try!
on the 13th June, 2017 at 8:41am

Cute another hater...
on the 13th June, 2017 at 8:40am
I remember around this time last year people were laughing at us saying we overspent on Milik, buying him for $32 million. Yet people on here claim Silva is a bargain for $38 million?? Just because Ronaldo heaped some praise on him doesn't make him out of this world. Mark my words he is Helder Postiga v2, this move came way too early for him.
on the 12th June, 2017 at 11:48pm
@Rosario I can't say I've seen a huge amount of Silva but, from what I saw he can finish just as well as Belotti. Thanks for stating his pros.

@Beppe Rossi We have a huge amount of fringe players that will go for money here and there. Some of the deals we've made are staggered payments. I'm sure Mirabelli and Fassone are aware of FFP and I trust they know what they're doing.
on the 12th June, 2017 at 5:40pm
@Beppe Rossi Niang, Bacca, Kucka, De scgilio, Poli. There, 75 right there. Not to mention the dross we can upload excluded from that. We have spent less then 100m atm.
on the 12th June, 2017 at 5:14pm

let me ask you this. Do you know who we really are?? Did you just compare us to Malaga? Have you lost your mind? And yes, I know Malaga very well as my mother lives there.
on the 12th June, 2017 at 5:12pm
(2) Will be fun to see our mercato, a much more measured one... and I agree with you Maldini's Heir about the best 11, and a few others... exactly what Inter did under Mourinho, and after him they just signed squad players, except the star youngsters (Coutinho, Kova, and Gabigol) who they've treated badly...

Milan now have a squad to fight Juventus, Napoli, Roma, Inter for the top 4 finishes... the Milan clubs are finally moving forward... get the stadium situation sorted and we're back!
on the 12th June, 2017 at 4:40pm
Point of correction, Milan only spent 99 million euros after buying silva.

all i can see are just a bunch of haters who are scared of the amazing work being done b Fassone and Mirabelli in acquiring players with ease.

Milan will have a great plan for FFP come October.

Forza Milan as always and forever
on the 12th June, 2017 at 4:35pm
Amazed at Milan's mercato... some excellent signings, Andre, Kessie and Mussachio, Conti and Rodri, put in Romo and Donna and Loca, it looks very promising but... and to be honest, they've not overspent on them either... very impressive work... Milan were rubbish last season, and god knows how they either got lucky (being lucky is good) or something, but they punched well above their weight... now they are a top 4 team... Inter have always been a top four team but underperforming... will be fun...
on the 12th June, 2017 at 4:35pm
Point of correction, Milan only spent 99 million euros after buying silva.

all i can see are just a bunch of haters who atre scared of the amazing work being done b Fassone and Mirabelli in acquiring players with ease.

Milan will have a great plan for FFP come October.

Forza Milan as always and forever
on the 12th June, 2017 at 4:33pm
Dami - Who will you sell?. You have players who aren't worth anything. You've spent now after signing Silva €135m. FFP in October will be very interesting to see. You're having a very good Mercato, I won't deny that.

@Victor - I've told you many times, I am not an Inter supporter....
on the 12th June, 2017 at 3:34pm
@Dami. Andre Silva reminds you of Belotti? You must've clearly watched clips of another player. Two completely different types of players. Whilst Belotti is a target man who at young age has the energy to run channels, Andre Silva is effective as a finisher as well as in the built up player. He has more pace than Belotti, but clearly not as towering or powerful. In terms of guilde and skill, he's more skillful. The closest player in the squad to him is Suso in terms of style.
on the 12th June, 2017 at 3:23pm
Milan is gonna be Malaga 2.0 just wait and see. These guys are coming in with no plan, and start spending money Milan doesn't have, and in 2 years they'll leave them high and dry.
on the 12th June, 2017 at 12:21pm

To be honest I would really like getting costa.. I can see him play around Suso and Silva..

Only thing thats worrying is all players who will act from the very second costa touches the ball.
on the 12th June, 2017 at 12:20pm
@viktor By the looks of it the boy can finish, from what I've seen he reminds me of the way Belotti has played this season. He's 21 so can be our 9 for a long while if he turns out to be a star. If he doesn't he will have re-sale value to the EPL. Still feel we will get another striker anyway to take the pressure off of him.
on the 12th June, 2017 at 11:23am
Im curious tho.. Anyone know ANYTHING about Andre Silva?

Is that a good signing? Pros: hes young and seems fairly good cons: Expenssive and played in a crappy league.

I rember quaresema and nani, great in Portugal, ended up in shit leagues at age of 28..

Im not feeling 100 % about this aquistion
on the 12th June, 2017 at 9:10am
i will feel a whole lot less apprehensive when milan lock down suso and donnarumma to new contracts if milan is to be successful next season it needs to have these two players as a point of reference. It is also a shame that milan couldn't sign pasalic he would have been useful still some time left i hope milan can sign him.
on the 12th June, 2017 at 7:50am
shady ownership lol, this is milan a club which had berlusconi as a owner for 30 years, a man who once said he got into politics so that he could avoid prison, a man linked with the mafia, a man who the word underage is debatable. Despite all these problems he still proved to be the best milan owner of all time so maybe a little bit of shady ownership isn't the worst thing in the world.
on the 12th June, 2017 at 7:29am
Shady ownership? Unless you have proof for that accusation it's nothing more than baseless. The sale was put on hold several times because the source of funds had to be verified. And Milan is no more a mess than say Inter which was fined for discrepencies. Milan hasn't really spent that much. We may offload Niang and Bacca, and some others. It's not just sales, but wages saved.

In addition, Beppe seems to be an Inter fan.

BTW, Inter is in serious trouble missing out on the EL and CL.
on the 12th June, 2017 at 3:46am
I don't trust Montella to stick to a starting 11. In the second half of last season he rotated for no reason whatsoever. Locatelli should've have started every single of our remaining games but instead was rotated out for no reason. The players will never properly gel until they play together week in/week out. Our CBs need to start 38 league games next season barring injury or suspension. We need to be able to name our starting 11. If it's good enough for Barcelona, it's good enough for Milan.
on the 12th June, 2017 at 1:55am
If you look at Chelsea last season they won the title with Victor Moses at RB. By no stretch is he a league winning player but if you play him enough he's a top player who raises his game. That is the secret. The likes of Padoin and Matri won titles with Juve. It's not about having 23 of the best football players known to man all tripping over each other. It's about having 11 players who are guaranteed to start, 5 or 6 rotation players and 5 or 6 who sit on the bench and never play.
on the 12th June, 2017 at 1:51am
@ dami Why do we need quality depth? It's depth. If you look at the likes of Barcelona they have a small squad. The stars are all guaranteed first teamers and then they have a few players who cover a number of positions. If you take midfield if we've signed Biglia and Kessie then Locatelli should cover for BOTH players. Kucka should never play. This way you actually get a bit of consistency in the side. Bona covers for whichever winger we sign and Suso so you have 3 players rotating for 2.
on the 12th June, 2017 at 1:48am
@Beppe Rossi Milan have all summer to sell.
on the 11th June, 2017 at 9:10pm

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