Bennacer, Kessie, Tonali and Mr. X – Milan will finally have a competitive midfield

Following the successful ending to last season, with Stefano Pioli’s side proving just how well they can do, Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara are working hard to build on the momentum by bringing in some signings. Inevitably, they have decided to focus a lot on the midfield, which is the key to the game. 

Ismael Bennacer and Franck Kessie, who was exceptional in the second half of the season, ultimately need competition in order to improve and grow. Furthermore, it’s too big of a risk to play them each and every game from start to finish, taking injuries and other aspects into consideration.

Therefore, Milan’s decision to focus on the midfield this transfer window is more than justified, as long as the other positions are dealt with eventually. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has renewed and Brahim Diaz has arrived on a season-long loan, so really it’s just the defence left if you exclude the midfield.

The Rossoneri announced the prestigious signing of Sandro Tonali yesterday, reaching an agreement with Brescia for a €10m loan with an option to buy at €15m (plus an additional €10m in bonuses). Considering how sought-after the 20-year-old was prior to signing for Milan, this is a fantastic deal in every aspect.

Tonali will certainly increase the quality of the midfield, there’s no doubt about it, but Milan aren’t done just yet. Before the window closes, they want to bring in another midfielder and thus complete the department, which then will have four players that will fight for two starting spots.

What’s the point of that, you might ask. Considering that the Rossoneri will be competing on three fronts this season, it makes a lot of sense not just in the short term, but also for the future and the club’s ambitious project. For the first time in several years, Milan’s midfield will actually be very competitive.

It has been said several times before, but in order to climb to the top and stay there, you need quality depth that will entice healthy competition in the squad. This has been lacking for so long at Milan and seeing as the midfield is very important for Pioli’s style of play, it makes sense to start there.

The likes of Tiemoue Bakayoko, Boubakary Soumare and Florentino Luis have all been linked with the club in recent weeks as the potential fourth man. The former is said to be the first choice of the Rossoneri, but the negotiations have slowed down significantly and that could favour the alternatives.

Tonali’s arrival, however, was never really in doubt as the clubs (seemingly) reached an agreement quickly. Sure, the medical tests were a bit delayed but the youngster arrived in the end, just in time for the start of the season. Now, we can only wait and see who his next colleague will be in the midfield.

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