Current squad - what work is needed?
If I were sitting at a table planning the way forward first or one of the first things on the agenda wouldn't be specific players, instead:
A team which is apparently in such a poor financial state creates a youth team, and it is more than just being able to promote youth, it is putting trust so that if there is a need to fill Pazzini's spot Petagna or other youth forward is a unanimous first choice around the table and no one even tries to find Matri.

Like I have said before this is not against Matri, because even if he had scored 10 goals so far that 12 million was spent poorly for a cash strapped team.


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Dev, thanks your great contributions in this thread and many others. Sorry to everyone that I have been really busy and sleep-deprived recently. Sad

I could only manage to log in and browse about 10 minutes every day. Don't really have much time to post any thought. Not that I could think anyway. Sad

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but I don't want to get banned for my laziness, so I decided to give up 30 minutes sleep time to write up something in response to Dev's calling. keep in mind that the quality may not be good due to the state of my mind. Icon_lol2


GK:

-Can we get Perin?
-Can we keep Abbiati for one more year as backup?
-I am feeling iffy about Gabriel.
-I don't care who the third goalkeeper is.
-I don't care if Coppola is staying or not.
-Amelia should go, unless he is willing to be our third choice.

GK(3): Perin, Abbiati, Gabriel

DF:

-Abate should stay. His contract should be renewed at the same wage. I hate the fact that his agent is that fat asshole, but I believe that Abate did recently express his sincere wish to stay at Milan.
-Bonera should stay. This guy has been underrated. He is not supertalented, but he has been at Milan long enough to know Milan's culture, and this season he has been our best defender in my opinion.
-Constant: this guy is a walking bomb. he doesn't know how to defend. we should sell him, or move him up to LCM.
-de Sciglio: should I say more? future leader. keep at all cost.
-Mexes: mixed feeling. he is a beast but hurts the team whenever the least expected.
-Silvestre/Zaccardo: we need only one out of them as the 4th CB if we don't buy anyone new. If we do, get rid of both. Between them, I prefer Silvestre slightly over Zaccardo.
-Rami: I don't think he would be sold after just half a season. It just wouldn't make any sense.
-Zapata: if we find a good buyer, get rid of him.
-Vergara: it was never serious to start with. Galliani just used him to fill up the non-EU spot.
-We need a quality CB, someone like Thiago Silva. otherwise, we can just forget about going back to glorious old day; until then, we will just be a provincial team.
-We also need a backup RB and a backup LB. I say that we look at our primavera, or get someone like Santon.

DF(9): Abate, de Sciglio, Rami, Bonera, Mexes, Silvestre, 1st-choice CB or a 4th-choice CB, backup RB, backup LB.

MF:

-Birsa: thanks and goodbye.
-Montolivo: ideally he should be in the bench (that would mean that we acquire quality players), but we all know that's not going to happen.
-de Jong: I still like him a lot. I know many here have some different thoughts, but I feel that a better coach can get the best out of de Jong.
-Cristante: I think he should stay, if we have any slight interest or sincerity in the so called youth project.
-Muntari: very mixed feeling. I really want to see him gone, but he can be useful at times. I don't think we can get rid of him anyway. He is too ugly for anyone's liking.
-Emanuelson: I think we should sell him. He still hasn't found his nitch in this Milan team, if I may say.
-Poli: He hasn't really proven himself and recently has become worse compared to his early-season performance, but I would keep him. occasionally he can also play as the emergency backup RB.
-Saponara: I feel that he is just not ready. I would keep him (just because that he is young and loyal) but don't see that happening.
-we should still try to buy one great player, and my pick would be Hernanes. Galliani was, is, and will be too cheap so that won't happen. Hernanes is getting older and older, and I am getting less and less interested.
-Nocerino: bye. I am not particularly interested in D'Ambrosio, the rumored target who plays for Torino currently. I feel that D'Ambrosio at best would pull off a one-season wonder just like Nocerino.

MF(8): Hernanes, de Jong, Poli, Montolivo, Honda, Cristante, Muntari, Nainggolan

ATT:

-Balotelli: he should stay. The talent is there.
-el Shaarawy: he should stay. He should be given full confidence and let's hope for the best.
-Kaka: he should stay.
-Matri: he should just get the fuck off.
-Niang: I believe he is already loaned to Montpellier? I don't see him come back, not that I particularly want him back either.
-Pazzini: I really like him. I would keep him.
-Robinho: bye. he doesn't belong any longer.

ATT(4): Balotelli, el Shaarawy, Kaka, Pazzini

there you have it, a 24-man squad, requiring very few new purchases but many sellings. doubt that's going to happen though (Milan is family, blah blah).

oh and I forgot, Allegri should just get the fuck off. I don't really have a wishlist on the coach. I don't mind Prandelli, though I was never a big fan (for a silly reason. He seems to like Juventus and Fiorentina and that bugs me, but that's all). I am interested in seeing what Mangia can do, but I have never watched his coaching, so I don't know. Inzaghi is on my list, but not really topping it because of his lack of experience, but I certainly don't mind seeing him on our bench at all! Seedorf is lower than Inzaghi on that list. I am not particularly interested in any foreign coaches at this moment, and I have never liked van Gaal.
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As far as our attackers go, I would get rid of Pazzini/Matri/Robinho. I'd only keep Balotelli/ELS/Kaka/Honda and buy another really good young striker, someone like Muriel or whoever. I like Pazzini though mind you, I don't mind keeping him but in reality he's not that great, decent sub.

The small issue I have with our attack is this.. Balotelli when on his game DOMINATES, but he's too inconsistent at the moment, I think it's a lot to do with his personal life,or his attitude but I can't say either of those are for sure. I'd like a good striker like Muriel so that we consistently have a strong player in that position, seeing as it's our main goalscoring threat likewise. Obviously our other attackers like Honda,ELS and Kaka are bound to score, but it's good to have more than just one player who can be your dominant goalscorer. I'd never expect Matri to score more than 7-8 goals a season, and Pazzini maybe 12 max. I'd like for Balotelli to be our 20-30 goals a season man like Ibra does, and a backup to score about 10-12 per season. A little dreamy, but the potential is there 100%. So in essence, Pazzini wouldn't be a bad choice but I'd like a faster player with better dribbling and skill so that we can have a faster flowing attack.
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(12-28-2013, 07:17 AM)WCmilan Wrote: As far as our attackers go, I would get rid of Pazzini/Matri/Robinho. I'd only keep Balotelli/ELS/Kaka/Honda and buy another really good young striker, someone like Muriel or whoever. I like Pazzini though mind you, I don't mind keeping him but in reality he's not that great, decent sub.

The small issue I have with our attack is this.. Balotelli when on his game DOMINATES, but he's too inconsistent at the moment, I think it's a lot to do with his personal life,or his attitude but I can't say either of those are for sure. I'd like a good striker like Muriel so that we consistently have a strong player in that position, seeing as it's our main goalscoring threat likewise. Obviously our other attackers like Honda,ELS and Kaka are bound to score, but it's good to have more than just one player who can be your dominant goalscorer. I'd never expect Matri to score more than 7-8 goals a season, and Pazzini maybe 12 max. I'd like for Balotelli to be our 20-30 goals a season man like Ibra does, and a backup to score about 10-12 per season. A little dreamy, but the potential is there 100%. So in essence, Pazzini wouldn't be a bad choice but I'd like a faster player with better dribbling and skill so that we can have a faster flowing attack.
I'd state Pazzini as being far less useless than Matri, but not as a decent sub. Gilardino and Amoroso were more decent subs for Inzaghi / sheva back then. Even though Gila messed up afterwards.
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Thanks for the replies guys, would love to see more responses as always. Xu, thanks for the nice words, I just love to discuss football and Milan (yes, even in these sad times). I know your feeling though, time is very limited for me too (my 3 month old son makes sure of that) and I tend to just get maybe 30 mins in the day to post on the forum. Thing is, I love reading the various opinions here, because we actually get consistently intelligent discussion. If I wanted just activity, then obviously R&B forums are a good place to go, but truth is I don't have time to trawl through 50 nonsense posts to find 1 good one all the time.

Anyway, back to the topic. Xu, I think Rami came on loan so we may not get him next summer. LOL at your reason for Muntari not being wanted Devilol

As for my thoughts, I'll start with who should stay from the current squad:

GK:
- Abbiati: I'd keep for one more year.
- Gabriel: I'd see if we can use him to get Perin and get him consistent play time.
- Coppola: Keep as 3rd choice
- Amelia: Sell

DEF:
- Abate: Renew if possible
- Bonera: Keep
- Constant: Sell
- De Sciglio: Keep
- Mexes: Sell. Imo way overrated, ill disciplined and costly.
- Silvestre: Send back to Inter.
- Vergara: Send out on loan for experience
- Zaccardo: Sell
- Zapata: Keep
- Rami: Depends on how well he does between January and June. I believe he's on loan, so it comes at no extra cost.

MID:

- Birsa: Sell
- Cristante: Keep and offer a more important role, even if not as starter
- De Jong: Keep, if he's prepared to accept he's not a definite starter
- Urby: Keep
- Montolivo: Keep
- Muntari: Keep, but as a backup as he should be
- Nocerino: Sell
- Poli: Keep
- Saponara: Keep
- Honda: Keep

ATT:

- Balotelli: Sell
- El Shaarawy: Keep
- Kaka: Keep
- Matri: Sell
- Niang: Maybe look to loan again to get more playing time
- Pazzini: Keep
- Robinho: Sell

That's a squad of 31, which is too big. I would look to reduce it to 25, which will be more manageable, but also we can reinvest in wages what we save in new players. I would look to get Nainggolan (without sacrificing Cristante) and Jorginho, who I have said many times I think could be fundamental for us and should be a priority, for midfield. Keeping Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari (as a backup at most), Poli, Cristante and Honda should give the platform for a balanced midfield with decent quality.

In goal, I'd try to get Perin, looking to maybe actually give half of Gabriel and some money to Genoa for half of Perin. Perin's going to have 2 years as a starter in Serie A next summer, while Gabriel could use game time (which I can see him getting at Genoa). Perin would come with the potential to be our number 1, fighting to start with Abbiati, who would . By doing this, we invest in the long term for one of Perin or Gabriel to be our starter in the future.

In defence, a lot depends on how Rami does. If he does well, we sign him permanently to fight for a spot with Zapata. If not, defence requires a new starting CB. Bonera for me is now important and a starter as he's the only cB with decent tactical knowledge and is the last of the old Milan group (passing on his experience). He would be our leader at the back. I am also with Reza that we need to trust our youth products and given we should be looking to promote 1 youth player every year, Iotti seems a good bet. He'll be 18/19, is a part of the Italian U19 set up and looks to be our most promising young defender. Unlike Albertazzi and Ely, I would rather we develop him in the senior set up ourselves than send him away on loan and into obscurity. Finally, in defence we need a new RB backup and a final CB backup (or if cheap I'd consider keeping Silvestre). Unfortunately, I just don't think we'll have good CBs for next season as that's going to have to be an area which we take more time to develop. I'd maybe keep Urby as LB backup, despite not liking him as a defender. That said, his contract runs out so maybe a signing like D'Ambrosio makes sense.

Finally, in attack I'm just not happy with Balotelli and so I'd sell him. I think at a minimum we can get 30m for him, but if his world cup is good, we can look to get more, which should get reinvested towards one top forward and help towards Nainggolan/Jorginho. I personally like Lukaku, who is still really young but a very consistent goalscorer (averages 1 in 2 in the Premier League for a long time now), is a stout professional and imo could become a Drogba like player for the future, even better imo despite being incomplete at this point. Some questions are raised about his technical quality though, so I'm not averse to alternatives if there are players who aren't well known yet. I'm unconcerned about getting someone so young as well, as with Kaka and Pazzini, we have experience up front to rely on as well.

The final squad (age in brackets) would be:

GK:

- Perin (21)
- Abbiati (36)
- Coppola (35)

DEF:

- Abate (27)
- Bonera (32)
- Zapata (27)
- Rami (28)
- De Sciglio (21)
- Urby (27)
- Iotti (18)
- Backup RB (??)
- Silvestre? (??)

MID:

- Cristante (18)
- De Jong (29)
- Montolivo (28)
- Muntari (29)
- Poli (24)
- Honda (27)
- Nainggolan (25)
- Jorginho (22)

ATT:

- Saponara (22)
- Kaka (31)
- El Shaarawy (21)
- Lukaku (20)
- Pazzini (29)

Average age: 25.9

For me, realistically we can look to build this squad by the end of next summer, without trying to revolutionise the squad completely, but at the same time, I think this squad can challenge for Serie A. Balotelli would be sacrificed to make way for long term projects and development of the overall squad. By selling him, at a minimum I'd expect we'd get 30m. Add sales like Constant, Zaccardo, Robinho, Nocerino, Birsa, Mexes and Matri and we should make a fairly significant sum (I'd say at least up to 10m), never mind the amount saved in wages as we reduce the squad size. Mexes and Binho alone are making 4m per year each, but in total these guys cost over 10m a year in salaries. All of this should cover the cost, or the majority of the cost, of Lukaku, Jorginho and Nainggolan.

The other thing I've tried to do is weed out the probematic/ill-disciplined characters in the current group. Mexes, Balo, Constant and Robinho. The odd one like Muntari remains, but it's hard to get rid of all players. At least Muntari doesnt seem just lazy.

As for coach, I think Prandelli is the one I like most out of realistic possibilities. In addition to this, I want us to reinvest in Milanlab. Everyone knows about our injury issues in recent years. This correlates to 2 things, one being Jean Pierre Meersseman was no longer full time at Milan, but also significantly I remember someone (I think Meersseman himself) saying Galliani cut funding in for Milanlab towards the end of the Ancelotti era.
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Dev, congratulations and good luck with your 3-month-old! I myself have a 5-month-old and a 5-year-old who seem to be on a mission to devour all my free time. LOL.

I see that we largely agree with each other anyway, with the only exceptions in Mexes/Zapata and more significantly, Balotelli. Honestly, I think with his love of this team, all he needs is good mentors and good influence. He needs a good coach that can use him to the best, and good teammates who could help him both on and off the pitch. More importantly, he needs to start winning and see a future, otherwise, before we want to sell him, he will ask to be sold.

I also agree that we should re-invest in MilanLab. The whole situation is getting disgusting. I also think that we should cut the tie with Raiola, though it is not possible for us to fire players with him as agent.

The final squad is as follows (the annual salary and the length of contract, as I personally think appropriate):

Perin (1M, 4yr)
Abate (2M, 4yr)
de Sciglio (2M, 5yr)
Bonera (1M, 2yr)
Thiago Silva (4M, 4yr)
de Jong (3M, 4yr)
Montolivo (3M, 3yr)
Hernanes (3M, 3yr)
Honda (3M, 4yr)
Kaka (4M, 2yr)
Balotelli (4M, 4yr)

60M in total salary expense for the starting lineup - still quite high actually.

Abbiati (1M, 1yr)
Gabriel (1M, 3yr)
Rami (2M, 3yr)
Mexes (2M, 1yr)
Silvestre (1M, 1yr)
backup RB (1M)
backup LB (1M)
Poli (1.5M, 4yr)
Cristante (1M, 5yr)
Muntari (1.5M, 2yr)
Nainggolan (2M, 4yr)
el Shaarawy (2M, 4yr)
Pazzini (2M, 3yr)

38M salary for the bench players. So the total bill would be 98M, that includes a 8M total for Thiago Silva of course and we all know that's not just wishful thinking.

Wow, I wonder how huge the wage bill must have been around 2006, 2007 when everyone got paid a filthy amount, like Digao with 1M, Pirlo 6.5M.
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@Dev, I really like your proposed squad for next season. The attack looks a little slim, but it's obvious we can't make everything perfect at once with our funds. Lukaku as a replacement for Balotelli would be a little of a downgrade, possibly an upgrade for the future given Lukaku is more professional and shows great potential. Balotelli has more potential, but his attitude doesn't seem to be changing. All in all though, I'd be more than willing to sacrifice Balotelli and the other players you mentioned if it means we can buy both Jorginho and Nainggolan, while also keeping Cristante, because it will strengthen our midfield a lot and give our squad a much better balance.

I'd like Lukaku and Muriel for our ST position, while getting rid of Pazzini as well.

My dream signings over the next season or two to complete a solid squad(I'll include Honda+Rami)
IN: Honda(FREE),Rami(7M),Doria(10M),Nainggolan(15M),Jorginho(15M),Muriel(20M),Lukaku(15M)
OUT: Robinho (5M), Balotelli (25M), Pazzini (8M), Matri (5M), Mexes (5M), Nocerino(3M), Niang (7M)

Total IN: 82MLN
Total OUT: 58MLN

This is purely hypothetical, but I'd think with other deadwood leaving like Birsa,Zaccardo,Silvestre we'd break more or less even on wages. We would be at a loss of 24MLN on transfer spending, but seriously for 24 million euros we're looking at a kick ass squad, not just starting 11 and on top of that a very young squad that will last us a very long time. I'm always optimistic when it comes to mercatos because we have some serious potential to revamp this team back to the top, but it seems to be taking a lot longer than I'd think it would. I also think I was very realistic in our OUT transfers, prices wise. It's more than possible to get some crazy 35-40M for Balotelli from these cash rich clubs like PSG/Monaco, maybe even Chelsea. On the same note, the IN players I mentioned could also be bought for cheaper - Muriel, for example, could be closer to 15M.. My point being, there are a lot of alternatives to make that 24M a lot less, something like 10M even. Our management needs to seriously get there asses moving.

With a young squad like that, even if our money situation doesn't improve, we can still look to cash in on one of those given players in the future for A LOT of $$$$, we just need to make sure we keep reinvesting. If we follow a structure like this then I don't see Milan's future being too dark at all. Plus, as Dev included in his list, we might even look forward to some great prospects like Iotti, but I'll even add Mastour who I'm very excited to see, and another player that impressed me was Pacifico.




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Xu, I'm a little confused. Do you think we can get Thiago Silva back or is it like a dream scenario?

WCMilan, I thought the attack was suitable for our current needs. If we were trying to win CL, I'd agree about it being light, but I think we're a couple of years away from being at that level imo. My thought was to let Lukaku develop with Pazzini offering the experienced alternative. Meanwhile, we have Kaka, Saponara and El Shaarawy (also Honda) to offer options for more creative attackers, supporting players and width. I like Muriel, but I don't think he's worth the price you mentioned nor do I think we can look to spend that much on a player that may not play regularly? Probably a moot point, as I rate Lukaku at around 20m lol. I'd also suggest that we risk lacking enough experience in our attack, as only Kaka would remain the experienced attacker in the squad (unless you want to count Honda).

I think realistically Nainggolan can be bought in total for about 15m, although obviously Cellino values him at 20m. Jorginho on the other hand, I think could be got for less than 15m if we play our cards right. If we sell Balotelli for 30m (I think 25 is quite low given we paid over 20 and he's shown far more consistency and less problematic behaviour at Milan), then we can cover the costs to buy both the midfielders using Balo's sale. I think it's fundamental we get a guy like Jorginho, a creative outlet in midfield, even more than Nainggolan. I'm just worried our management doesn't see it that way and will get Nainggolan without the more technical complement. As for Lukaku, I would think the total of the sales (and wages saved) of the "fodder" could actually cover his cost.

I had thought about Pacifico, but truth is I've seen him once and not heard about him since. Iotti on the other hand is a regular starter for Italy youth teams and it seems is valued more highly in the Primavera too. For that reason, I'm guessing he's the one more likely to succeed in making the jump. That said, my thought is we should try to promote one youth product to the senior squad every summer. Last summer it was Cristante, before that De Sciglio. I'd like to see Iotti make the same jump and then in the future Di Molfetta and Mastour are ones who I want to keep an eye on.
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@Dev: sorry for the confusion. That Thiago Silva thought was just my own wish, and I am 99.9% sure that it won't happen.

I liked Pacifico too, and was surprised that no pundits seem to rate him as high as us fans. Maybe they do know something that we don't. Iotti didn't impress me as much but he is younger and (allegedly) more promising, so we can always hope.

Bottomline, if our management is sincere with the youth project, I personally don't mind waiting patiently for a few fruitless seasons, but I am sure that it is the direction that we are heading. To say the least, our management is confusing in their signals. I know that I sound like a broken record, but splashing big bucks on Matri serves no purpose and is wrong on so many levels (1. why buy a piece of crap? 2. why buy a piece of crap from Juve just so that they can afford Tevez? 3. why buy a piece of crap instead of Honda? 4. why buy a piece of crapy just so that Petagna will be kicked out?). I really think that the Matri deal has the potential to go down on Milan history book as the single worst transfer deal ever. I so resent that Matri got lucky and scored one goal against Parma (and we lost that game too, so even that goal was useless in the end).

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Thanks for the clarification and also for the congratulations on my son. Congrats to you too, a second child is surely eating up a lot of time and sleep Big Grin

About Pacifico and Iotti. Truth is we've barely seen them, other than the odd friendly. In that match Pacifico stood out more, but Iotti performed well when he came on (I remember I commented positively on him post match). Thing is, it's hard to know how good they are until we see them more.
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