AC Milan’s Transfer Window Graded Thus Far
The inability to qualify for Champions League has haunted AC Milan for several seasons now. The Rossoneri came close last season, as they missed qualification by a single point on the last day of the season. Failure to qualify once again could very well result in the departures of the squad’s young core, so Paolo Maldini and company faced a tough task of upgrading the squad on a somewhat limited budget this summer. Let’s dip into the grades of AC Milan’s transfer signings this summer.
AC Milan’s Transfer Window Graded So Far
The first splash in the defence came with the signing of left-back Theo Hernández. The Frenchman originally signed for Real Madrid in 2017 after great success in Atleticó de Madrid’s youth sector and Alavés. With Marcelo in the fold, however, Hernández rarely saw the pitch for Los Blancos.
Hernández was on loan at Real Sociedad last season. His contributions in attack alongside his defensive prowess definitely caught the eye newly appointed Milan manager Marco Giampaolo and Maldini. Giampaolo’s style of play calls for attack-minded and high-motor full-backs, and Hernández will immediately put pressure on Ricardo Rodriguez and could be the new starter in no time. Milan’s transfer singing grade of the full-back is an A-.
The next move in the defence was Léo Duarte from Flamengo. Duarte didn’t arrive with as much fanfare as former Flamengo man Lucas Paquetá, but that is because Duarte is solely a depth signing for now. He did come with high praise from Flamengo’s manager, but Mattia Caldara, when healthy, is still the number one option alongside Alessio Romagnoli in the centre of the defence. Milan’s transfer signing grade of Duarte is a B-.
Rade Krunic from Empoli was Milan’s first signing of the window. The Bosnian can be reminiscent of former Rossonero Juraj Kucka. Krunic isn’t the most gifted player but looks to be the kind of player who will give his all to the badge. He will translate well into a solid depth option in the midfield. Milan’s transfer signing grade of Krunic is a B.
The second midfield signing, Ismaël Bennacer, also came from Empoli. Bennacer was Empoli’s star last season, and one of the best young midfielders in Italy. He wasn’t a popular name at first, but performed admirably in the African Cup of Nations this summer, leading Algeria to the trophy and securing player of the tournament honours. The “regista” role will be his starting on day one. Bennacer also came at a bargain of a deal, giving Milan a transfer signing grade of an A-.
Milan’s sole signing in the attack thus far has been Rafael Leão. The Portuguese youngster broke out at Lille last season, helping them secure Champions League qualification. Although he has the size and technical ability to start as a lone striker, he will likely play right behind Krzysztof Piątek in a two-man striker formation.
Leão will be watched carefully by the Rossoneri faithful. His arrival lead to the departure of Patrick Cutrone, a fan favourite. Cutrone’s style of play simply did not fit well with Piątek, but Leão’s should. Leão’s blistering pace will provide another outlet besides Piątek’s traditional number nine style. Milan’s transfer signing grade of Leão is a B+.
Overall Grade of Milan’s Transfer Signings
The Serie A transfer window is still open for nearly two more weeks. Movement should still be expected, especially from Milan who are rumoured with a few other big names. For now, their overall market receives a grade of a B. The squad has definitely improved, but one other big-name starter is needed for Milan to definitely be in the hunt for the Champions League.