Lecce 1-4 AC Milan: Tops and flops for the Rossoneri – Calhanoglu pulling the strings

AC Milan managed to claim all three points from the clash against Lecce last night, putting four goals past their former goalkeeper Gabriel. Although there were some struggles, it was important for the Rossoneri to start the resumption with a win, given how important the season finale will be. 

Stefano Pioli will be delighted with the performance as Milan’s main struggle this season has been the scoring and even without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, they managed to rise to the occasion. Better yet, there were four different goalscorers and Ante Rebic got his revenge from the Juve clash by scoring the third.  Continue reading

Atalanta’s Progress: By the numbers

Last season, Atalanta sent shock-waves throughout Italian football and qualified for the Champions League, finishing ahead of Italy’s traditional giants Inter, Roma, and Milan among others. Along with European football comes the luxury of a pitfall of cash and unique opportunities for growth that Atalanta have taken full advantage of.

Beyond their Champions League cash, Gian Piero Gasperini’s men have been extremely proactive on the transfer market, selling their players for incredible profits. Dejan Kulusevki, for example. The Swedish international has only played three times for them in his entire career and was sold for nearly forty-five million euros. Let’s take a deeper look at the numbers.

According to Calcio e Finanza, Atalanta have already cashed forty million euros from the Champions League and could make more depending on their two-legged affair with Valencia. Given recent form, it’s not entirely improbable they progress to the final eight.

While Champions League money is always welcomed, it’s not as sustainable as other sources of revenue for the club. After all, will they qualify for Europe’s elite competition every season? They’re hoping so, but probably not.

As a result, Atalanta have enacted a model wherein they sell their top-performing young players to Italy’s big clubs after breakout seasons. Kulusevski to Juve, Gagliardini to Inter, Cristante and Mancini to Roma, Conti and Kessie to Milan, and the list goes on. In this sense, they maximize their profits. While certain cases will have them thinking they moved on their players a season too early, that’s always better than feeling they sold a player a season too late.

Just ask Torino’s Urbano Cairo. After Andrea Belotti’s breakout season, Torino reportedly got offers ranging between 50 to 75 million euros for their hitman. Cairo played hard-ball, kept Belotti and has since missed out on a unique rebuilding opportunity by turning down those offers. Today, Belotti won’t fetch anywhere near the previously reported price-tags. Atalanta, on the other hand, have a knack for selling players at the right time. In fact, their track record speaks for itself.  Most of their departed players, bar a few, have struggled to recreate their past form at their new clubs.

According to Transfermarkt’s numbers, the Bergamo-based club are set to cash in a further 110 million euros this season, in addition to Musa Barrow’s reported sale of 20M. That’s 130M on players that have either already been replaced or have never featured regularly for them.

With their squad lacking a few additions to take the next step, it will be interesting to see what Atalanta does with that money. Will they abandon their current philosophy and go for more-experienced players in hopes of making the leap alongside Italy’s elite or will they continue with their own model that has worked wonders for them?

If last transfer window was anything to go by, it will arguably be a mix of both, with a particular focus on experienced players. See: Luis Muriel and Ruslan Malinovskyi. As another transfer window beckons, Atalanta’s activity will be worth monitoring. They have the money and a vision: but can they deliver on it?

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AC Milan breathe a sigh of relief after big win against Sassuolo

As requested by the fans and management ahead of the game, Milan managed to grab all three points away at Sassuolo, quite convincingly as well. 

Even though the Rossoneri’s previous results had taken a major toll on their confidence, this only showed during a few periods of today’s game: which must be considered as an upgrade. Struggling to close games and convert their opportunities, the players were eager to get out and break the negative trend.  Continue reading

AC Milan smart to bring in a risk-free Bakayoko

AC Milan look set to continue their very well-thought transfer market campaign as Chelsea midfielder Tiémoué Bakayoko has arrived in Milan to complete his loan move to the San Siro side.

Leonardo and Maldini are working hard to secure a few more signings before the transfer window closes on Friday. Having already delivered Mattia Caldara and Gonzalo Higuain to Gennaro Gattuso, the plan is to bring in one winger and at least one midfielder.

There have been several names linked with the Rossoneri, but it seems that Bakayoko will be their next signing, as medical tests are scheduled for tomorrow (Monday). According to the reliable Gianluca Di Marzio, the French midfielder will arrive on loan with an option to buy, with the total cost of the operation being €40m.

Now, throughout the negotiations for Bakayoko, there have been a lot of criticism towards Leonardo and Maldini, and understandably so. The 23-year-old had a very poor season with Chelsea last campaign, ultimately failing to live up to his €45m price tag.

However, there are enough positives to argue that what Leonardo and Maldini are doing is actually very smart, especially considering Milan’s FFP situation. With only five days left of the transfer market, you can’t expect to get exactly what you wished for, though you can get quite close.

For Milan, the arrival of Bakayoko will be crucial, as he gives the Rossoneri a hand in fixing their biggest issue; depth. Last season, Franck Kessie played a total of 54 games as Milan were fighting across three competitions for a long time.

Now, even though the Ivorian did really well, there were definitely signs of fatigue from his side, especially in the latter stages of the campaign. This was all due to the fact that he had no natural replacement, forcing Gattuso to field him week in, week out.

Therefore, the arrival of at least one midfielder has been a priority for Milan this summer, and Bakayoko’s loan move could help fill this void. With that said, the French midfielder is perhaps not the ideal replacement for Kessie, but having played in all of the three central positions in a 3-5-2, he can surely do the job.

Furthermore, he will be able to replace the likes of Lucas Biglia and Giacomo Bonaventura whenever needed. In regards to his role, it’s certainly unlikely that he will sit on the bench for most. With Gattuso in charge, though, we all know he will have to prove his worth.

Should Bakayoko manage to find his groove, much like the player we saw at Monaco, then Milan will be a lucky team. In that case, he wouldn’t be the first player to flop at Chelsea, only to redeem himself later on (De Bruyne, Salah…)

As it’s only a loan, the Rossoneri will be able to gamble on the matter. In the worst case, if things don’t go well, then there’s always the option to send him back to Chelsea, just like there’s the opportunity to sign him if things go well.

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AC Milan’s Top Five Performing Transfers From 2017-18


Last summer, Milan brought in nearly a dozen new faces through a massive spending spree surpassing the €200 million threshold, some performing to expectations while others failed to deliver in what most consider to be a failed season as the Rossoneri missed out on a top four finish. However, there were several who rose to the occasion overall, and turned out to be quality purchases in the end.

Here are the top five players from Milan’s massive summer overhaul based on their seasonal performance during 2017-18: Continue reading

Serie A Club of the Week – Round 24: Milan


An easy choice for Serie A club of the week in the last round, as Milan trashed Spal by scoring four goal and also keeping a clean sheet.

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