We have lost out on Morata, Dortmund does not want to let go of Aubameyang and Belotti is not nearly worth the 100.000.000 € that Cairo put on his head. Where do we move from here? Kalinic? Keeping Bacca? Or are there other options we should look at?
It has certainly been a question that many milanisti have been thinking about: Who is going to lead our frontline in the upcoming season? Bacca, by no means a bad striker, seems to be out of the picture. I understand why, he is a highly one-dimensional player and his attitude hasn’t really helped him in the past months, visibly annoyed whenever he got subbed. Morata, in my opinion, would have been a great striker from a quality point of view. He has proven himself with Juventus, it would have been another one up on Juventini after we snatched up the best defender in Serie A. However, €90.000.000 is a very high price that Chelsea only paid because they really needed a striker.
The problem with Belotti and his price is that he has to confirm his previous season. If we look back at the goals he scored, it is clear that with many goals there was no defender near him in a 3 meter radius. The question for next season is: Does he create this space himself, or did defenders underestimate him throughout last season? My opinion is that it’s a combination of both, where Belotti will find it more difficult to get the same amount of space next year. What is out of the question, however, is that he is the kind of striker we need. A striker that puts himself in a scoring position without necessarily being highly technical on the ball. At the moment, Belotti is a €50m striker, with the potential of being a €100m striker if he confirms next season. Cairo is gambling with inflated purchase prices, like he always does. However, Belotti bleeds red and black so that kind of justifies a higher selling price. Why not offer €50m + Paletta, Locatelli with buyback option, Montolivo and Sosa?
Aubameyang’s position is unique. There is no way that Dortmund can replace him and while he’s got a different profile from Belotti he would definitely hit double figures in the Serie A. However, we should not forget that spending €70.000.000 on a 28-year old that might see his speed (one of his best traits) diminish over the next three years might not prove to be a sound strategy either. However, I believe that if he performs well in these three years he can easily earn back his price tag and wage. It’s players like Aubameyang that will make Milan supporters flock to the stadium and buy tickets, much like they are doing right now with the return against Craiova.
Kalinic is not an option, due to various reasons. His age, but also the fact that he did not play very impressively last season. He would be a great player off the bench, but I fail to see why we would sell Bacca for €18m to then buy Kalinic for €2m more. I’d much rather keep Bacca as a benching option then.
What are our other options? I do not understand why we have not seen Michy Batshuayi? He would cost around €50m, has proven himself in three different leagues averaging one goal in three games with Chelsea even though he barely played and received short subs or starters to prove himself. Furthermore, in ligue 1 he averaged nearly one goal every 2 games and played over 30 games in his last season while keeping his good form and physicality. If you have seen his pre-season games where he destroyed Arsenal, I do not get why Chelsea was seeking to replace him with Lukaku even though I feel Lukaku is a great player. Michy is only 23, has great potential and while he’s not the exact profile we need in combination with Andre Silva he has a habit of hitting double figures just like Aubameyang.
Our final option would be Diego Costa, who has a reputation as a rebel and has been taunting his current employer over snapchat, Instagram and twitter over the past few weeks. While he showed his goal scoring ability last season, he was pointed out as one of the main instigators of the locker room anarchy in 2015/2016. While there are rumours of a 6-month loan, I feel like we need to save the millions in wages that this would cost us and immediately go for a permanent solution that will not potentially upset our locker room. We might as well get Balotelli back if we’re gambling like that.
My favourite is Belotti, even though I believe Aubameyang is the safer option for now. However, the smartest option in my opinion would be Michy Batshuayi who already has what it takes, with great movement on the ball and a lightning strike.