Andre Silva‘s first season with AC Milan didn’t turn out as expected, having arrived from Porto for a fee of nearly €40m.
The fans and the management, given his transfer fee and statistics with Porto as well as Portugal, had hoped that the 22-year-old would be the man to bag all the goals up front.
However, after a more than decent start with the Rossoneri during the Europa League qualifiers, the fans quickly discovered his main weakness.
Former Milan manager, Vincenzo Montella, was heavily criticised for benching the €40m man, opting for the success of a wildcard Patrick Cutrone in the league games. In fact, Silva remained on the bench in three of the first four games, which had Rossoneri fans disappointed as seeing the striker in the league was something they had been waiting and asking for.
Going back to the earlier statement about his weakness, as time progressed, fans understood that the reasoning behind the lack of playing time had to do with one thing; acclimatization.
While banging in goals for Milan in the Europa League, Silva very much struggled to get his message across on the pitch in the league. There was no doubt that the talent was there, but he seemed to be lacking the final ingredient.
For many footballers, this is a normal step in the process of switching clubs. However, for Andre Silva, it seemed the lack of goals and minutes took a major blow on his confidence.
Then, with all the chaos surrounding the club, Montella was forced to leave his position as manager. In came Gattuso, and for a moment it was believed that Silva would finally get his real chance.
Upon taking over, Gattuso explained in an interview that he considered his relationship with the players very important, while stating that Andre Silva, in particular, is a very talented player.
“He’s a very talented player. We have to try to get the best out of him and make sure he plays as much as possible for the team, rather than as an individual,” the 40-year-old stated.
However, the games passed and Silva spent much of his time under Gattuso on the bench. In Europa League, Silva continued to play, but unlike under Montella, he looked uninspired.
Then, the away game against Genoa came, and so everything changed. After several chances squandered, the game was destined to end scoreless, heading into the additional time of the second half.
Suso took on his man on the right flank, twisting and turning, before putting in a seemingly too short cross. Getting on the end of it, you guessed it, Andre Silva scored his first Serie A goal for the Rossoneri. In the following game, Andre Silva once again scored a late winner as the San Siro side triumphed against Chievo.
Those two goals were also the only that he scored last term (in the league), arguably failing to live up to his price tag. However, Milan fans shouldn’t give up on the 22-year-old just yet.
Even though Milan have their issues with FFP, justifying a sale of Andre Silva for less than €30-35m will be a tough task for Leonardo and Maldini, at least in my opinion.
Unlike Nikola Kalinic, who also joined the club last summer (and has now left), it’s clear that Andre Silva actually possesses incredible talent, having performed with Portugal alongside Ronaldo. In fact, the latter even praised Milan’s former number nine, stating that Portugal are in good hands after his own retirement.
“When I retire, Portugal will be in good hands because they have already found a great striker: Andre Silva,” said Ronaldo.
At the time of writing, Spanish source AS suggests that Sevilla are close landing the striker on a dry loan. However, Marca claims Milan have agreed to let Silva go for €20m.
Now, in my eyes, a loan move is totally fine. In fact, it actually makes sense, given that Higuain and Cutrone are further forward in the pecking order. Furthermore, should he do well at Sevilla, then the Rossoneri could decide to bring him back, alternatively selling him for a price closer to what they once paid for him.
With that said, letting him go on a permanent move should be considered as a rash, greedy and frankly stupid move by the new management.
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