On Wednesday, Milan completed the acquisition of one of the brightest Italian prospects: Sandro Tonali from Brescia. While he was close to joining Juventus in January and then for months looked for poised to move to Inter, Milan swooped in late and acquired him with the formula of a €10M season-long loan with a €15M option to buy plus €10M potential add-ons and the 10% of a future sale upward of €30M, so at least €3M. The player will earn €2M per year.
Tonali made his Serie A debut in the recently concluded season after flourishing over the previous two campaigns in the second league. He was one of the few positive notes for the Rondinelle amidst all the struggles and coaching changes and tallied one goal and seven assists, mostly thanks to his prowess on set pieces, and often managed to pull the strings and produce momentum-changing solo runs within matches.
Tonali will compete for minutes in Milan’s midfield with incumbent starters Ismael Bennacer, with whom he shares similar characteristics, and Franck Kessie in their 4-2-3-1 tactic, which the Rossoneri run exquisitely in the restart. The trio has the potential to feature together as Tonali showed also some box-to-box traits. Their front office is also looking to add a muscular midfielder to back up Kessie. They also need to make a decision on Tommaso Bodega, who returned to the club after a fantastic season on loan at Pordenone, where he hit the net six times and established himself as one of the most intriguing prospects in Serie B.
Tonali represents the crown jewel of the Devil’s summer and the third youngster signed over the last few weeks. The first one was versatile defender Pierre Kalulu from Olympique Lyonnais, who has yet to make his pro debut but had some flashes in the youth league and can be used either as centre-back or more likely as right-back given his physical skills and Milan’s shaky options there.
Last week, instead, they announced the arrival of Brahim Diaz on loan from Real Madrid. The 21-year-old attacker can feature in any of the three positions behind the striker and has logged 21 appearances with the Galacticos over the last two seasons, scoring twice and providing three assists. He spent six years at Manchester City prior to moving back to Spain, mostly playing at a youth level. He had 16 caps with the Sky Blues.
Diaz bolsters the corps of trequartisti of the Rossoneri, which lost Giacomo Bonaventura, whose contract was not extended and will join Fiorentina, and currently feature Hakan Calhanoglu, Ante Rebic and Samu Castillejo, Rafael Leao, Alexis Saelemakers and Alen Halilovic, who is back after a temporary stint at Heerenveen.
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