Earlier this April, an emotional Silvio Berlusconi bid adieu to AC Milan supporters and brought down curtains on arguably the most successful era an owner has ever seen in the game of football.
In his time with the club that spanned for 30 years, Milan won 29 trophies which included 5 Champions League silverware.
And that’s inclusive of the recent decline over the past few years of the club as a major force in European football. That is some massive shoes to fill.
Around the same time, it was announced that Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux, led by Chinese businessman Yonghong Li, purchased the club for a whooping 740 million euros.
The announcement came after months of negotiations, controversies and even more negotiations with Li finally landing the deal.
In a statement shortly after the deal was done , he said “I thank Berlusconi and Fininvest for their trust and Rossoneri fans all over the world for their patience.
Milan is a world-renowned football club with the most glorious history. We’ve completed a key step on the road to revival, and for the future we promise that step-by-step we’ll lead this legendary team back to the summit of world football.”
With so little known about the Chinese businessman, Milan fans were initally hesitant and apprehensive of their investment plans to support their planned project in relation to the club’s future.
However, what was to follow soon put most of them at relative peace, at least for now.
With all the controversial events behind them, the new Milan owners aren’t hanging around. Milan have already signed 6 quality players for 5 different positions , and have already spend close to 130 million euros and the summer transfer season has hardly begun.
The decisiveness and the swiftness with which the club has gone about their work says a lot about their project they have planned that Milan had generally lacked in recent time.
They have beaten off competitions for the players and reports say that the club even has signed up players who were supposed to have ‘made deals’ with other clubs.
But the most striking feature of this decisive transfer business is that it is in no way a spree of panic buy.
All the targets are of high quality, well considered, scouted and most importantly, targeted after discussions with club manager Vincenzo Montella and the system he has in mind.
And to Montella’s extreme delight , all the signed players will be at his disposition right from the beginning of training camp for the new season.
Ivory Midfielder Frank Kiesse rejected top Premier League clubs , which includes the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, to join AC Milan on a two year loan deal from Atlanta, with the option of buying him at the end of the loan deal.
The 20 year old scored six goals and provided four assists in 30 league appearances as Atalanta finished fourth in Serie A last season and has emerged as one of Europe’s brightest box to box midfielder with an eye for quality passes as well.
Milan sure got a real talent in their hands !
Mateo Musacchio was part of an excellent Villareal defence line that saw them having the second best defensive record in La Liga the previous season.
Having spent the last 7 years with the club, Musacchio has turned out to be a very dependable defender who has all the qualities in the world to succeed in a league like the Serie A.
One thing that would concern the Milan boss is regarding the Argentine’s fitness. Musacchio has never played 30 games in a season in the past few seasons due to various injury problems.
If Musacchio works on his fitness issues , then he could turn out to be one of the best signings of this year’s transfer market.
Ricardo Rodriguez is one of the most sought after left back in Europe. Displaying solid defensive qualities as well as having an excellent attacking prowess, the Swiss defender made 184 appearances for Wolfsburg , winning the 2014-15 DFB-Pokal title and the 2015 DFL-Supercup.
However, with Wolfsburg disappointing this season having just escaped relegation and AC Milan looking to climb back into the Champions League for the next season, Rodriguez will certainly strengthen the Rossoneri defence and will look to play an important part in bringing the club back into the Champions League.
Having a solid defence is one thing, but a consistent goalscorer is something that Milan has lacked in recent times. Andre Silva could be that man.
Silva is a traditional centre forward, physically well built and excellent at being the focal point of attack, which was evident in his time with Porto.
He has all the qualities of a striker; alert in play, the ability to make instinctive poacher’s movement inside the box, the ability to turn defenders and shoot at goal.
Silva is the sort of player who can get the fans off their seats , and that’s something that Milan fans will certainly hope from the young Portugese.
Although he may find the initial stages of playing in a different league difficult, there is no doubt that he would go on to score quite a few goals for his team provided he keeps his focus on his development.
“When I retire, Portugal is still in good hands. We have a great forward in Andre Silva” , Cristiano Ronaldo said a few weeks back. Well, he would know wouldn’t he?
It is quite unbelievable that more clubs haven’t bid for Turkish international Haken Calhanoglu .
Possibly one of the most underrated young player in football today, the 23 year old is an extremely intelligent playmaker; always ready to receive the ball and find pockets of spaces in the more advanced midfield area, often being the starting point of all the attacking moves in his time at German side Bayer Leverkusen.
However, it’s his deadly set piece ability that has earned him quite a reputation. Milan has probably got the bargain of the season , spending just 25 million euros for the Turkish midfielder.
With the quality signings mentioned above, Fabio Borini’s 6 million euro move to AC Milan has gone under the radar.
Having failed to impress with Premier League sides Liverpool and Sunderland, Borini’s Milan move came as a shock to many.
However, there is no doubting his talent and can offer another dimension to the Milan attack, either off the bench or starting along with Silva.
Here is my Predicted line up for the upcoming season (with the signings made so far) : 4-2-3-1
Abate Musacchio Romagnolia Rodriguez
Bonaventura Calhanoglu Honda
And it doesn’t look like Milan is done yet. If reports are to believed, then Milan is also after a right back, a specialist winger and a holding midfielder.
However, the Milan board is also desperate to hang on to their prodigal goalkeeper Donnarumma and is said to be their priority.
His agent Mino Raiola has his doubts about Milan’s new owner and wants to protect his client with a get-out clause should the team fail to qualify for next year’s Champions League, which will be harder now Serie A has four spots again.
Inspite of a possible clash with UEFA over the FFP rules and regulations, which makes it almost necessary for them to qualify for Champions League next season, Milan are nevertheless pushing ahead and is not afraid to splash the cash.
It may be too early to say , but looking at the way Milan has gone about their business in the last couple of months, there is a revived buzz among the Milan fans as well as increasing enthusiasm among football fans worldwide, and with that the hope that Milan is finally back.