Reza

Aug 232021
 

The starting line up confirmed the absence of Bennacer and Kessie, the former available on the bench but not fully fit. Krunic’s start was met with dismay among some.
A probing start had Sampdoria threaten Milan’s goal but soon Milan took the lead. A low Calabria cutback found Diaz who diverted the ball in, Samp’s defenders and goalkeeper didn’t do well.
Maignan’s first attempt at playing the ball had him venture outside of the box but he was fouled and the open goal was spared. The French keeper had to punch a long range free kick out and then deal with close range shots.
Milan seemed to grow into the game and threatened too. Leao was having a good start and Diaz was at the heart of the attack.
The tempo and intensity of the half was above average and very good at times. The half time 1-0 lead was good value.

The second half started with no changes. Theo missed a dribble up the pitch and almost gave the ball away a few yards away from Maignan. He needed to step up. The intensity slowly waned off with both teams having a few half chances. Minutes later Calabria missed a long range shot after Giroud worked hard to keep and win the ball.
In the 69th minute Rebic replaced Leao and Bennacer somewhat surprisingly replaced Diaz. Florenzi made his Milan debut in replacing Saelemaekers in the 80th minute. The game had retained a good tempo but it as being played farther away from the goals and the subs helped lower it further. Giroud did miss at least two header chances and Sampdoria came close in the 87th minute.
Late in the game Romagnoli came on for Calabria in a case of captain being subbed off for a captain. Rebic had a late chance when the Sampdoria defenders gifted the ball to Milan. He missed by inches.

Three points were secured and Milan started with a win.

 Posted by on August 23, 2021
Aug 232021
 
Starting Lineup: 4-2-3-1
16
Maignan
2
Calabria
24
Kjær
23
Tomori
19
Hernandez
8
Tonali
33
Krunić
56
Saelemaekers
10
Díaz
17
Leão
9
Giroud
Substitutes

Another season is here. The 2021-2022 Serie A season kicks off with a Monday evening visit to the Luigi Ferraris to play against the team that finished ninth last season. Claudio Ranieri stepped aside at the end of last season and now Sampdoria are led by ex Parma coach Roberto D’Aversa. Milan finished second last season and now face a barrage of fixtures that includes Champions League football for the first time in seven years.

The summer transfer window has been a busy one with a relatively high amount spent but with more to do with just over a week left before it shuts. A couple of spots remain unconvincing or at least ‘un-upgraded’. The right wing is the most glaring weakness and it remains a source of criticism and weakness. Saelemaekers provides commitment and usefulness but Castillejo not so much. Whether the latter leaves and is replaced with a higher class player will go a long way in painting a better picture for the season. The central attacking spot is entrusted to Brahim Diaz and his number 10 jersey, for now. Giroud was added and will provide know how and experience and judging by his recent and preseason form perhaps even more. Leao should be the semi regular left wing starter but Rebic lurks and ready to get the nod. Kessie and Bennacer will continue to provide the solidity and talent on the pitch but both look to be missing for week 1. The former played for his country at the postponed Tokyo Olympics and got injured on upon his return, he is likely out another 2 or 3 weeks. The latter was stricken by COVID and has returned to the squad but is probably not fully fit. That leaves Tonali and … Krunic. Pobega is still in the squad, although likely leaving on loan. Nevertheless Krunic is the probable starter here. The back four is largely unchanged with Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori and Theo hoping to continue where the team left off last season. Florenzi’s recent signature provides a solid option for right back or perhaps a bit further up. Maignan was one of the fastest Milan signings in memory, arriving right after last season ended. The French international looks to help fans forget the Donnarumma saga.

Sampdoria’s squad has not changed much during the summer and will be led by the 38 years old Fabio Quagliarella. Mikkel Damsgaard’s stock rose during the Euros and the winger will be a danger man for Sampdoria’s opposition this season.

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

 Posted by on August 23, 2021
Aug 212021
 

Pietro Pellegri is a 20 year old forward that is also capable of playing other forward positions. The Genova born forward spent some years at Genoa and was described by some there in the highest terms as a Messi type talent. He is tall but and has very good ball control for his height. The player is a self confessed Ibra fan and his attributes match the Swede better than most. His high profile as a teenager had a very promising start, not yet 16 years old, at his home town club and led to a €20 million transfer to Monaco, when not yet 18 years old. Since his transfer he has barely played and scored even less. Pellegri has battled groin, hamstring and other injuries and missed weeks and months in the principality.
Latest word is that Monaco are willing to loan and give Milan an option. Milan may not be the best place to heal an injury prone player, but if healthy this could be a wild card type transfer.

Player Summary
Name:
Pietro Pellegri
Date of Birth:
Mar 17, 2001
Age:
20
Height:
1.88 m
Citizenship:
Italy
Position:
Forward
Foot:
Right
Agency:
None
Ownership:
AC Milan
Contract Expires:
Jun 30, 2022
Current Club:
Monaco
Joined:
Jan 27, 2018
 Posted by on August 21, 2021
Aug 112021
 

Yacine Adli is the latest in a long line of players linked to Milan this summer. The midfield, particularly attacking side is still lacking depth, if not quality, and it is surely imperative that at least one new player arrives.

Adli is 21 and a former PSG player, he was once very highly rated and tipped for stardom but has not exactly grown as much some would have expected but the player is of course still young. He is best suited for a more advanced midfield role.

Various scouting reports exists on the player. The noted strengths are dealing well in tight space and beating defenders and by extension finding his teammates. He is able to play wide but prefers to work centrally. Most agree that his weakness lies mostly on the defensive side and pace. He is somewhat tall but heading is not his strongest attribute. The 2020-2021 Ligue 1 season saw him become an almost regular player, starting 25 leagues games – plus making 10 subs appearances. A total of 2417 minutes yielded 2 goals and 5 assists.

PSG will receive a percentage of the fee Bordeaux might earn from his sale. The question, as relevant ever, is can Milan find a deal with his current team. Many signs point to Milan’s inability to pay any more transfer fees this summer.

Player Summary
Name:
Yacine Adli
Date of Birth:
Jul 29, 2000
Age:
21
Height:
1.86 m
Citizenship:
France
Position:
Midfielder
Foot:
Right
Agency:
None
Ownership:
FC Girondins Bordeaux
Contract Expires:
Jun 30, 2023
Current Club:
FC Girondins Bordeaux
Joined:
Jan 31, 2019
 Posted by on August 11, 2021
Aug 092021
 

According to many reliable sources Milan could go ahead and are close to signing Alessandro Florenzi. The right sided player can play further up the pitch but is mainly a right back. Is he going to be a Calabria back up or is he to play as a winger or midfielder as an alternative to Castillejo or Saelemaekers.
His career has been injury riddled but he certainly has the talent and had a good last season at PSG. Roma may be prepared to offer the player on an initial loan but his salary is on the high side (around €4 million) and his current side will want to include an obligation to recoup some euros.
The links to the player should mean that Milan is abandoning the pursuit of Dalot.

Player Summary
Name:
Alessandro Florenzi
Date of Birth:
Mar 11, 1991
Age:
30
Height:
1.73 m
Citizenship:
Italy
Position:
Fullback
Foot:
Right
Agency:
None
Ownership:
AC Milan
Contract Expires:
Jun 30, 2022
Current Club:
AC Milan
Joined:
Aug 21, 2021
 Posted by on August 9, 2021
Aug 052021
 

Gigio Donnarumma and Calhanoglu left for free. Laxalt left for Russia. Dalot and Meite’s loans were not renewed. Though the former remains a target for the bare right back spot, more on that below. A seemingly whole set of young players – Giacomo Olzer, Riccardo Tonin, Marco Brescianini, Alessandro Sala to name just a few – left as well and mostly on loans. All of this has brought in only one income. Dynamo Moscow paid €3.5 million for Laxalt. The team needs to sell more and replace them with more useful and better players.

Hauge and Caldara may be the next two that do that, kind of. The former’s saga is perplexing having been bought last fall for €5 million he was soon all but exiled from the team and now finds himself on his way to Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany. The infamous difficulty Milan has in selling players has become apparent again. While the reported €12 million fee for Hauge is more than double what Milan paid Bodo/Glimt for the young winger it is to be paid only next year. Not much is expected from Caldara and the newly promoted – and very much fashionable – Venezia are taking him on loan with a €4 million option next summer. Milan are also paying part of the player’s salary.

Who else can or should leave.

It is is generally agreed that Castillejo has no place at Milan. The much maligned right winger is often seen and described as a bottleneck for Milan and renders the team’s right side impotent in attacking and goal scoring situations. This summer whispers of Spanish interest have surfaced but it is far from certain if a transfer will materialize. A loan with little money later may not happen either.

Krunic is unpopular amongst most fans and commentators. Many would like to see him leave but Pioli is a fan and Krunic gets minutes at (attacking) midfield and left wing spots and is seen as defensively safe player. An exit seems very unlikely.

Conti returned from loan after Parma were relegated. For a few moments he was considered an option to remain and be Calabria’s back up. However the likes of Genoa might take him on and of course pay very little. The team will need a replacement and perhaps a relative unknown – ala Ballo-Toure on the left – can be found. Dalot is not very convincing option. Word remains that Manchester United are not open to another Dalot loan and want a sale. Milan can not afford a transfer fee that some claim is as high as €18million for the Portuguese full back.

Pobega returned from at Spezia and may be considered as back up midfielder. If he stays it would at least save some money. Milan would probably not need to go after another central midfielder. Bakayoko would be one natural option if Pobega does leave but there is little reason to believe this scenario will play out. Pobega has been solid and shown to be hard working this off season.

Daniel Maldini is another mentioned for a possible loan but that seems unlikely and this offseason the player looks to be growing and can contribute minutes.

Less than four weeks to go to another transfer window closing. A team that has qualified for the Champions League will need to be creative if not capable of spending.

 Posted by on August 5, 2021
Jul 222021
 

There is still some 40 days left in the summer transfer window. A first look will show that Milan have outspent all of Serie A and most other teams across Europe, so far, but how many of the team needs have been addressed?

Milan finished the 2020-2021 season in a good position but getting ‘back home’ to the Champions League brought with it a more urgent need to be a protagonist, as Maldini himself put it. Milan finds itself in the lowest pot 4 for the upcoming Champions League season with many areas of the pitch to improve. Most expert analysis on how well Milan can navigate the European Competition and the domestic one will depend wholly on how the team looks come September 1st when the window is closed. It should be interesting though and if you are betting visit free bet sites such as free-bets.uk.com and get your Milan bets on early.

There have been six signing and confirmations so far costing close to €60 million. Fikayo Tomori was all but confirmed earlier in the year and Milan’s €28 million buy option with Chelsea while very attractive took out a good chunk of any budget Milan would have this summer. The team also moved very swiftly to replace Donnarumma with Maignan and used another sizeable portion of the available cash. Further to that a laudable negotiating act converted Tonali’s loan to a permanent deal.

The team had to shift to filling other weak spots. A veteran alternative to Ibra was sought and Giroud arrived on the cheap. All the while expectations were that he would be a free transfer but he offers plenty of winning experience. The never ending full back saga was somewhat addressed by Ballo-Toure. The Senegalese/French player is a relative unknown although he has played for Monaco and Lille. Nevertheless he looks to be a good back up to Theo. Brahim Diaz was a Milan player last season, technically on a dry loan but it was an open secret that the team will attempt to keep him longer. A friendly Real Madrid, now led again by Ancelotti, allowed the player to stay for a further two years and this time with an official option to buy. Diaz’s presence falls clearly in the urgent need category as Calhanoglu’s departure had left Milan with a big hole in the creative department.

The team has other weaknesses. For one the aforementioned Diaz is not enough. Another player is needed. Whether it be Nikola Vlasic, Marcel Sabitzer, Hakim Ziyech or any other this team can not afford to go without another quality player in the trequartista position. This brings us up to the right wing spot. Saelemaekers and Castillejo can not be the duo next season. Whether it be Berardi, a player like Ziyech shifting to the right or a name not yet mentioned an upgrade on the right is a must.

Other signings are in the works as well and might be surprising, or not. A young third string forward like Kaio Jorge for example. A Dalot return to help Calabria as another example. Bakayoko – if not the home grown Pobega – as yet another returnee to name another. As with every mercato new and often unrealistic rumours will pop up every day. All bets taken as to how the team will evolve as the summer moves forward.

 Posted by on July 22, 2021
Jul 172021
 

Olivier Giroud has signed a 2 years deal and joined Milan.

The 34 years old veteran French international fresh off a Champions League win with Chelsea (though he did not play in the final itself) and Euro 2020 with France arrives for €1 million with add-ons that could reach another €1 million. His Chelsea contract had expired at the end of the 2020-2021 season and he was set to join on a free transfer but the London team triggered a unilateral extension so it cost Milan a fee to get Giroud. Earlier in the summer it was thought that any fee would only apply to a move within the English Premier League but that turned out to be false.

Giroud joins a Milan team lacking depth at the forward position with the only recognized attacker being Ibra – Rebic and Leao are clearly more suited to the left wing position. Giroud scored 11 times in 31 appearances last season and 10 in 25 the season before. It is thought that his salary is around €3.5 to €4 million per season. The player has picked the number 9 shirt.

Player Summary
Name:
Olivier Giroud
Date of Birth:
Sep 30, 1986
Age:
35
Height:
1.93 m
Citizenship:
France
Position:
Forward
Foot:
Left
Agency:
None
Ownership:
AC Milan
Contract Expires:
Jun 30, 2023
Current Club:
AC Milan
Joined:
Jul 17, 2021

 Posted by on July 17, 2021
Jul 162021
 

The latest Brazilian to be linked with Milan is Kaio Jorge. The center forward is a product of the Santos youth teams and has represented Brazil at the youth level. This included winning the 2019 U-17 World Cup scoring 5 goals in the tournament and one in the final victory over Mexico.

In a rush for comparisons some names like Gabriel Barbosa and Roberto Firmino have been mentioned. What is more certain is that Kaio has the pace and the skills of a good central goal scorer and show good shooting ability, all with a good right foot. Scouts have also noted his good work rate in recovering the ball.

His contract expires at the end of 2021 but it is perhaps telling that Milan, not exactly awash with transfer cash, is willing to pay now to fend off rumoured interests. The number being mentioned is around €10 million.

Player Summary
Name:
Kaio Jorge
Date of Birth:
Jan 24, 2002
Age:
19
Height:
1.82 m
Citizenship:
Brazil
Position:
Forward
Foot:
Right
Agency:
None
Ownership:
Santos FC
Contract Expires:
Dec 31, 2021
Current Club:
Santos FC
Joined:
Jan 1, 2019
 Posted by on July 16, 2021
Jul 132021
 

Calhanoglu’s departure on a free transfer has left a big hole in Milan’s lineup. The Turkish international under performed more often than not but he left as a free agent that meant Milan missed on any possible income to be used on a replacement.

As demonstrated regularly this summer the team is unable to spend much because of UEFA regulations and the still mounting debt. Brahim Diaz’s possible loan extension from Real Madrid is still not formalized and even if it is Milan does need players for the attacking phase.

Nikola Vlasic is a name mentioned a few times and he is now said to be closer to Milan. He would cost upwards of €25 million, an amount Milan likely can’t afford. It is said his current team, CSKA Moscow, are willing to agree to an initial loan that would turn into an obligation for next summer.

Player Summary
Name:
Nikola Vlasic
Date of Birth:
Oct 4, 1997
Age:
24
Height:
1.78 m
Citizenship:
Croatia
Position:
Midfielder
Foot:
Right
Agency:
None
Ownership:
CSKA Moscow
Contract Expires:
Jun 30, 2024
Current Club:
CSKA Moscow
Joined:
Jul 1, 2019

On his first experience outside of Croatia he now international had a hard 2017-208 year at Everton where he was sometimes played out of his favoured central position. He was subsequently loaned to the Russian team and then bought outright for €15 million. He has done much better since. The player is able to start his movement from the left (or sometimes right) and attack centrally. His good movement from deeper positions are also well documented. Most of all he is seen as a very good in the number 10 role of a 4-2-3-1.

 Posted by on July 13, 2021