Milan’s Mixed Summer

Milan spent much of the summer inactive in the transfer market. That is not to say rumours did not pop up every day but a large majority of the said talk was focused on two or three players. De Ketelaere from Club Brugge, Sven Botman and Renato Sanches of Lille were linked every day with reports of them arriving soon filling social media posts. The latter had been linked with Milan as early as two summers ago and he – like many others – finally opted for the riches of PSG.

Player Summary
Name:
Aster Vranckx
Date of Birth:
Oct 4, 2002
Age:
21
Height:
1.83 m
Citizenship:
Belgium
Position:
Midfielder
Foot:
Right
Agency:
None
Ownership:
None
Contract Expires:
N/A
Current Club:
Dummy
Joined:
Jul 1, 2023

De Ketelaere did finally arrive for €35 million and in the process ate up very large chunk of Milan’s purported transfer budget. Throughout the weeks before his arrival fans were losing patience with lack of concrete news and arrivals. The only solace for followers of the team were extensions and improved contracts that were offered to few but not the most in demand, namely Leao. The Portuguese and his agent, Jorge Mendes, are still asking for an amount that will break the team’s supposed internal salary cap and make him the team’s highest paid player. Whether or not he deserves €7 million may be moot because another team will surely offer it to him if Milan doesn’t.

Later in the summer as the transition between Elliott and Redbird ownership was getting close to completion hopes rose of more Euros. Gerry Cardinale has promised to make Milan a top team again and it won’t happen on the cheap. The final days of the transfer window saw a flurry of moves but nothing that would be called big or expensive. First Malk Thiaw arrived from Schalke for a reported €7 million including bonuses. The defender fits Milan’s young and on the up mold but much like Tomori and Kalulu he is a bit of unknown and his previous team are not a model of defensive solidity. If he follows the latter two’s trajectory it would be another hit in the transfer market.

Then Sergino Dest’s name appeared out of nowhere with the USA international Barca player arriving on loan. The ‘explosive’ player is at least a cover for the injured Florenzi. Dest comes on a one year loan with an option to buy clause set at €20 million. He may be able to add some depth and quality for the right wing spot as well. The much neglected spot remains a weakness begging to be addressed. A more talented right winger will also take some pressure off the left side of Leao and Theo.

Player Summary
Name:
Sergiño Dest
Date of Birth:
Nov 3, 2000
Age:
23
Height:
1.75 m
Citizenship:
United States
Position:
Fullback
Foot:
Right
Agency:
None
Ownership:
None
Contract Expires:
N/A
Current Club:
Barcelona
Joined:
Jul 2, 2022

In the final day of the window the midfield spot left weaker by Kesssie’s departure and Bakayoko’s seemingly in limbo status was addressed in Aster Vranckx. He arrives from Wolfsburg on another one year loan with a relatively cheap option that could total €12 million.

These final three acquisitions all added to Milan’s depth (and squad size) while costing little for the upcoming 2022-2023 season. Dest’s salary was to be paid fully by Milan and was the biggest part of the transactions at about €4 million net.

Two other moves were done and dusted before the summer started. Origi left Liverpool as a cult hero and after passing his physical while injured he became an offensive option for Pioli and Milan. Then Adli made his official Milan arrival after being signed last summer and being sent back to Bordeaux.

All in all the team addressed needs on the cheap and young but left the right wing hole open. The budget limitations had made for a sometimes bizarre and surreal mixed summer of waiting. A Scudetto winner and Champions League pot 1 participant could do better, couldn’t it?