Milan’s Summer, So Far

Milan’s eight arrivals so far

The 2023 summer started in possibly the worse possible way. Within mere hours after the season ended a meeting between Gerry Cardinale and Paolo Maldini ended with the latter leaving his director’s post. His exit was followed by Ricky Massara exiting in unison. Fan disdain was multiplied when Milan fan and much admired Sandro Tonali was sold to Newcastle. The money was big but fans expected the player to be a life time Milan player. Fears of a sell off led to near outrage online but since then slowly, but surely, the tide has turned.

Milan have been busy in the transfer market using the reported €65 million from Tonali’s sale, and more. As of early August eight new players have arrived replacing the so far 10 who have left. Marco Sportiello, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tijjani Reijnders, Noah Okafor, Christian Pulisic, Luka Romero, Samuel Chukwueze and Ynuns Musah have arrived for a total of €115 million or so. Crucially none of the arrivals are on loan however of those who left four were at Milan on loan. Sergino Dest, Brahim Diaz, Astor Vranckx and Tiemoue Bakayoko returned to their teams. Ibra (retired), Vazquez, Tatarusanu, Gabbia, Rebic and the aforementioned Tonali have left Milan. The long time right wing issue has been addressed with speedster Chukwueze able to provide a threat. His presence should open up spaces for Leao on the other side. Pulisic is also a primarily a right winger and it will be interesting to see how Pioli uses the new player(s) at his disposal. Not only on the right wing but because of the mooted switch to 4-3-3 raises questions about who will be a starter up front and indeed in midfield. Tonali’s sale and Bennacer’s enforced injury absence leave question marks for the midfield. Can any of the midfield signings – Loftus-Cheek, Musah and Reijnders – be considered a like for like? The answer looks to be no and Pioli will have to build the team with more box to box characteristics than a more rigid or defined set up.

The defense has changed less but Gabbia’s departure on loan to Villarreal opens up a possible spot and the presumed imminent departure of Ballo-Toure – his latest suitor is said to be to be Werder Bremen – has the team weighing options for a vice Theo. Basel’s Riccardo Calafiori is one of the many names discussed for the left back position.

Other departures are also in the works with Junior Messias on the market, with Torino or Fenerbahce on the list. If he leaves Milan for the Turkish club he will be joining Rebic who left to Istanbul for a small fee. De Ketelaere’s flop season at Milan has also led to many exit rumours with Atalanta apparently close to taking the Belgian on loan. The aforementioned 4-3-3 would almost certainly provide even less chances for the Belgian.

There are still over three weeks left in the summer 2023 transfer window and Milan may yet remain one of the more active teams. Giorgio Furlani, Geoffrey Moncada and of course Cardinale have yet more work to do to convince Milan fans.