Thursday June 7 2018
Milan should stick with Silva

A swap deal between Andre Silva and Radamel Falcao is suggested with Monaco, but Milan should resist, argues Matthew Santangelo.

Since Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sold in the summer of 2012 to Paris Saint-Germain, Milan have failed miserably to replace him with a prolific No 9 capable of scoring goals by the handful. From Mario Balotelli to converted winger Jeremy Menez, Carlos Bacca and Nikola Kalinic, it’s quite clear the Rossoneri desperately lack the presence up front their domestic competition luxuriate in.

Last summer, sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli splashed roughly €65m on two strikers in Kalinic and Portuguese international Andre Silva, who scored eight Serie A goals between them. Ironically, 20-year old Patrick Cutrone, who Mirabelli appeared ready to loan out to Crotone before former Coach Vincenzo Montella blocked the move, ended the campaign as the club’s top scorer with 10 in the league.

While Cutrone is highly regarded and set to pen a new deal until 2023, the Como-born bomber is still very young and cannot possibly be expected to shoulder the responsibility as the lone source of production up front.

According to multiple reports, super-agent Jorge Mendes is working up a possible exchange between Milan and Monaco for Silva and Radamel Falcao. But is this the right move for the Italian giants?

The 22-year-old struggled to kick on and find his footing in his first year at Milan after the €38m switch from Porto last summer, scoring just twice in 24 league appearances. In Europa League competition however, Silva managed an impressive eight goals in 14 matches.

Still, something must be said about Silva failing mightily under both Montella and Gennaro Gattuso to earn the lion’s share of the minutes ahead of Cutrone and Kalinic, despite being more tactically flexible and supportive in the build-up.

Silva exhibits the make-up of a modern No 9 in that he isn’t tied to the penalty area and can be effective in multiple ways, whether it be with the ball at his feet pushing forward to create for either himself or others, or off the ball as a target in the box. We have seen this firsthand for Portugal where he has 12 goals in 21 appearances to date.

The reality is the suave striker still requires time to demonstrate these qualities - something Milan do not have the luxury of granting him, considering Gattuso’s urgent need to pick up the slack. Hence, this is why Falcao becomes a possible candidate, as his body of work proves he can bury the ball into the back of the net with regularity.

In 2017-18 for the former Ligue 1 champions, the 32-year-old Falcao bagged an impressive 24 goals in 36 matches across all competitions, showing no signs of slowing down.

The Colombian captain acts as an example for many in the current Monaco side who, like Milan, are still very young and could benefit from his experience which spans continental Europe. On the other hand, there is the possibility of buyer’s remorse.

Falcao is teetering between his prime and confronting the final stage of his career, so to give up prematurely on Silva after just one season presents a risk for Milan who will want to avoid yet another kneejerk decision that ends with them selling a potential star in favour of an ageing striker.

You can look at this possible swap move from all angles, dissect it and find reasons why it makes sense for Milan and why is does not. Jorge Mendes, who represents both Silva and Falcao, is only looking out for the best interest of his clients, so certainly a change of scenery for the two at different phases of their career isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.

From Monaco’s perspective, sporting director Michael Emenalo would love nothing more than to refer to the principality club’s proven playbook of investing in young players as a source of future profits, and snag Silva to partner with recent recruit Pietro Pellegri while offloading a veteran like Falcao who has diminishing value.  But if you are Milan who need immediate support and may not be in the position to delve into the market for a top striker like those mentioned earlier, then this swap deal becomes a possibility.

At first glance, it’s Monaco who seems to have little to lose should this deal come to fruition, unlike Milan who – if Silva impresses in Russia at the World Cup, is sold and becomes a star in France – will have to live with regret.

Have your say...
@ Anonanon I agree but people talk about Serie A being a difficult league to adapt to as a badge of honour. But how exactly is it a good thing that Serie A wrecks so many players with its tactical rigidity? It was one thing when Serie A teams were dominanting in Europe but now when teams are suffering embarrassing defeats losing by 3 or 4 goals it’s even more of an issue. If Silva was playing in Spain he wouldn’t have had these issues. The Spanish teams have once again dominated Europe.
on the 10th June, 2018 at 11:36pm
or a reinvigorated Pirlo. When Milan were at their best it almost didn’t matter who we signed. Average players like Pancaro and Serginho all did a job. Imagine those players playing in the current side. They’d struggle because the team is struggling. The only way the team will stop struggling is by building stability. Milan need to become the club where average players perform like world class players. Where people scratch their heads wondering how does djimi traore have a champions league medal
on the 10th June, 2018 at 11:30pm
Argentina; for the former he’s probably the greatest player ever; for the latter he’s just very good. The secret to Messi’s career is staying at the same club. I think Totti would’ve struggled had he left Roma. What’s interesting about he Matri example is how such a thoroughly average player scored goals for Juve and struggled at Milan. That is the difference; Juve create the perfect conditions for players to perform at a higher level. They get the most out of their players. Be it Bonucci, Pogba
on the 10th June, 2018 at 11:25pm
@ Annonymous I’m not comparing Silva WITH Shevchenko ir Torres I’m comparing these players with themselves. I’m taking the exact same player and comparing their form at two different clubs. And the list is endless. Most football transfers don’t work out in that the players fails to perform at the same level at their new club. The reaso. For this is because it’s so difficult to recreate the same conditions at a different team. Even Messi performs at a completely different level for Barca and
on the 10th June, 2018 at 11:20pm
You're joking, right? 9 goals in 10 matches for Portugal in WC qualifying. 8 goals in 14 Europa League matches for Milan. But nah, you're right, Silva has been a total flop by not immediately landing at the top of the Serie A scoring charts during his first season in a league that is notoriously difficult for newcomers to adapt to.
on the 10th June, 2018 at 3:59pm
I'd sell him now waiting til after the world cup is going to be worse and we'll end up selling for nothing, i can't see him doing any better for Portugal. I fail to see what he achieved this year in league, Europe or anything. He flopped I'm not interested in wasting another year hoping he lives up to this 'next ronaldo' hype.
I agree with you on Suso, but Donnarumma is just not as good as we all want him to be so we should be cashing in on him ASAP too.
on the 10th June, 2018 at 10:58am
At the very least, if a sale price is to be determined this window, Milan would be wise to at least wait until after the World Cup. His performances with Portugal have been fantastic; if he retains that form and has a good WC then we could well see his value skyrocket similar to what happened with James Rodriguez.
on the 9th June, 2018 at 2:17pm
You can't be so quick to write him off after only one year in a new country and league at just 22years old. His performances in Europe/Internationally prove he's got the potential; do you want to see another Abaumeyang situation? Now the rumor is a one year loan swap with Falcao, which might actually make sense IF Monaco won't be given one-way authority to make Silva's move permanent. Get him another year of top flight play and build his confidence/experience, then let's see what he can do.
on the 9th June, 2018 at 2:13pm
The two players Milan should cash in on are Suso and Donnarumma. Suso is very predictable in his play and Milan should profit now while his stock is still somewhat high. With Donnarumma Raiola doesn’t have him properly focused and that was reflected in the national team where he proved he was behind both Perin and Sirigu. Now, if only those rumors of Montolivo leaving are true.........
on the 9th June, 2018 at 1:48pm
@maldini heir
1 other thing Matri has failed everywhere and can also not be put in the example as players like torres or sheva.
on the 9th June, 2018 at 12:35pm
@maldini heir
Ok but i dont think we can put Silva into the same category as sheva or torres or anyone for that matter. It was a ridiulous risk to take spening that money on an unproven talent.
Sheva didnt get a great chance at chelsea and Torres went to chelsea with a proven record for scoring and the pressure killed him, silva is simply an average player who was billed to be the Ronaldo and is clearly not that. Sell him ASAP. All flagging strikers should go to france even Buffon will score!
on the 9th June, 2018 at 12:33pm
@ wow Torres stayed in the exact same league. Torres scored a bag full of goals for Liverpool in the premiership and did nothing for Chelsea in the same league. Shevchenko scored in Serie A and struggled at Chelsea in the premier league. Matri struggled at
Milan and scored for Juve both in Serie A. How did Chelsea go from 1st to 10th to 1st to 5th in 4 seasons with basically the same squad? It’s not that simple. It’s all about players finding the right conditions to perform.
on the 8th June, 2018 at 11:08pm
Plus Milan don’t need any good players . They have the best defender in the world that does not know how to defend and currently has them out of the cl and wherever they are on the league table lol I see really great things happening for Milan next season . With superstars like kessi and Silva it should be smooth sailing lol.
on the 8th June, 2018 at 5:10pm
The players sign extensions so they don’t leave for next to nothing lololriec
on the 8th June, 2018 at 5:06pm
Tony Pezzulo
It's a perfect deal. Silva has failed and if we can cash in on failure and get a ready made star it will give players like Cutrone the chance to learn and grow with less pressure on his shoulders.
@maldini heir
'yet another striker who has struggled at a new club' if your useless your useless. when picking up these so called stars we should look at the quality of the league they are in before assuming they can carry that form to a harder league where defence is a little better.
on the 8th June, 2018 at 1:10pm
Youth is overrated. Silva good, Falcao good. Milan should get rid of Kalinic instead, would be sooo much better
on the 8th June, 2018 at 1:10am
scratching our heads wondering why the exact same player is performing at a different level at another club. For that reason alone I wouldn't want Silva to leave. Of course we should give him another go and the understand that he and Cutrone showed together in the EL matches means that we should just play 442, two up top, and just keep it really simple. Because football is not complicated and it's not like computer games.
on the 7th June, 2018 at 11:40pm
for Milan. It's the reason nearly every single players performs at a higher level for Juve regardless of their limitations. And that is thing; all players have limitations. Nobody is perfect. Messi cannot head the ball, Ronaldo doesn't tackle and Bonucci cannot defend. A team needs to play to players' strengths to get the most of the players. Has Gattuso played to Silva's strengths? There's a decent chance that if Silva goes to another club he could become a phenomenal player. And then we'll be
on the 7th June, 2018 at 11:38pm
On Silva we have yet another striker who has struggled at a new club. How many times has this happened? What exactly happened when Fernando Torres moved from Liverpool to Chelsea? Or when Shevchenko moved from Milan to Chelsea? Or even when Falcao signed for Man Utd? The latter scored just 4 goals in 26 appearances for Man Utd. It goes back to these tiny, tiny, tiny details that make all of the difference in football. The reason why Matri scored 27 goals in 69 appearances for Juve and 1 in 15
on the 7th June, 2018 at 11:34pm
Milan dropped 5 precious points to Benevento. 3 to Verona. As massive 8 points to the two bottom sides. 8 points that was the difference between finishing on the same number of points as Lazio in one leg and Inter. Lazio who we beat and Inter who we lost to in the last minute. So we don't need to spend 500 gazillion on this side, we don't need to replace everyone with "super world class players". We just need to build on what we've got and hope that Gattuso is capable manager.
on the 7th June, 2018 at 11:26pm
One of my big frustrations in life is when fans and the media write off this player and praise the other as being superhuman. There's not this enormous gap between these players. They're all in the top 1% of players on the planet. Ironically it's when players fail to appreciate that Benevento are a top 20 side in Italy which is one of the top footballing nations in the world that we get upsets. Of course, Benevento can score goals and keep clean sheets. They've got very good players.
on the 7th June, 2018 at 11:22pm
The number one signing this summer will be experience. All of these players now have a season under their belt. They've got to know each other. They've felt the embarrassment and the shame of losing to Benevento at home. They've felt the pain of losing to Inter in the last minute when Biglia stupidly lost the ball in midfield. Maybe even Bonucci has come back down to earth and might stop hitting Hollywood passes. Who knows? But Rome certainly was built in a day.
on the 7th June, 2018 at 11:18pm
I am quite re-assured from the start to the summer with renewals for Romagnoli and Cutrone. I was really nervous about Romagnoli in particular. I have no idea why he's still happy at Milan but I'll certainly take it! I really think this is our last chance with some of these players. The likes of Donnarumma, Romagnoli and Kessie will not stick around if Milan fail to qualify for the CL next season. To qualify we need to keep the team that got us to 6th and add one or two players to get us to 4th.
on the 7th June, 2018 at 11:15pm
To get an ageing fading star like Falcao for a future young superstar Andre Silva, is insanity.Silva needs time to become a pillar for Milan. If this move goes through, Milan will learn to regret it for many years to come.
on the 7th June, 2018 at 8:38pm
The title should be changed to "Milan Should Stick with Silva who Wants to Leave because Their Brainwashed Fans still Think Milan Have Money and Can Attract Quality Players after The Whole World just Find Out Their President Has No Money and is allegedly working for Money Laundering Syndicate".

Forza Financial Fair Play! Hahahahahahaha........
on the 7th June, 2018 at 7:30pm
It depends on Silva himself. The boy clearly has all the talent and athleticism to excel in Serie A but does he have the temperament? Rino said in the press multiple times that Silva needed do more in training. In a recent interview, Silva spoke about how adapting to Italy was his most difficult challenge at Milan.
I believe in Andre, however, Mirabelli's put us between a rock and hard place with his lack of foresight. We now risk losing a potential star or going another season without a top CF
on the 7th June, 2018 at 5:40pm
Silva is good but I haven't seen anything special from him yet.I saw plenty from Pato in his first game.I saw glimpses over the season from Cutrone.However,considering Silva's age & international record,I wouldn't make a decision until after the WC.If does great,we keep him.If not,we sell him & get a high-quality forward.Falcao is great but his age & injury history should make him a last resort.Bring in Belotti or Immobile if Silva has a bad WC.Moratta & Werner are too expensive for us.
on the 7th June, 2018 at 3:26pm
You invested in a youth product and expected a world class striker instantly and are now ready to swap him with a retiree who's value will not increase. This shows the Management of this team is no better then the days of Galliani. Not future plans, not able to see 1 year ahead of themselves. Silva's value will continue to increase, Falcao's will not. And if you think Falcao, who's never played in Serie A will instantly become a goal scoring machine, again, poor and desperate decision making.
on the 7th June, 2018 at 2:52pm
thing with silva he does not have one attribute that stands out. Aubameyang had outright pace on his side whereas silva does not really excell at anything
on the 7th June, 2018 at 2:06pm
Get rid, sell ASAP.. Rubbish. Overated, over hyped, useless. Sell sell sell
on the 7th June, 2018 at 1:37pm

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