Milan had been pretty active during the last transfer window, with many players arriving at San Siro and a few moving out. With the focus firmly on building a squad for the future, Milan brought in a few youngsters and also a few war-hardened veterans, hoping that such a combination would give them the spontaneity of youth along with the assertiveness of a veteran.

From the various signings, it can be clearly seen that the focus this season would be primarily the Scudetto. Some players were brought in to increase the depth of the squad in the wake of multiple injuries to long-term key players, while others were taken on board in what can only be thought of as a change of guard. This is a transition phase for Milan, and it will take at least one or two more years till we find a core group of players around which the entire team would revolve.

As we take a look at the new faces coming in, we also would like to thank the players who left us in January.

Arrival #1

Nicola Legrottaglie

Another 34 year old defender signing after Mario Yepes at the start of the season really makes no sense. Milan might be trying to shore up their defense with experienced campaigners at this stage in the league, but this cannot be looked upon as a solution to our defensive woes. On the last day of the transfer window, when Juventus signed Andrea Barzagli, Milan acquired the services of Legrottaglie on a free transfer, offering him only a six month contract.

Expectations this season

The 2006 World Cup winner can make it to the first team only when either of the two center-backs Thiago Silva or Alessandro Nesta is injured. His chances of playing are most likely to be limited to a few appearances in the league, and realistically he might not feature in the Champions League line-up. However, with experience in his side, he along with Yepes can form a commendable pair in Milan defense.

Arrival #2

Antonio Cassano

The “enfant terrible” of Italian media, and often world media, made a switch to Milan from Sampdoria during this transfer window. Milan is looking to increase their attacking arsenal this season, and the arrival of Cassano only re-affirms this belief after the capture of Ibrahimovic and Robinho at the start of the season. Milan now have an enviable forward-line of Pato, Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Cassano and last, but definitely not the least, Pippo Inzaghi.

Milan’s new sharpshooter

Expectations this season

Goals, goals and more goals. This is the only expectation from this former Madrid hit-man. In the few matches that he has come on as a substitute, he has managed to gel with Robinho and Ibrahimovic, resulting in three wonderful assists. A very good addition, especially for the league, since he is cup-tied with Sampdoria for the Champions League.

Arrival #3

Urby Emanuelson

A superb signing keeping in mind the current predicament of Zambrotta. Emanuelson can play in any position on the left hand side of the pitch, but is most likely to be used as a left back. Another option would be to deploy him as a left wingback, which is his actual position on the pitch. Emanuelson is a product of the famed Ajax youth system. One of his many abilities is his sheer pace, which would come handy when Milan plays against teams having pacy wingers.

Milan’s new left-side hope!

Expectations this season

Even though he was added to increase the depth of the squad in view of the recent spate of injuries, he is a long term prospect and a really good one at that. Since he has already played in the Champions League this season with Ajax, he cannot feature in the same competition anymore for Milan. But his contribution in securing the elusive Scudetto cannot be ignored. He would provide the width and also that extra bit of pace required so often to wear down an organized midfield.

Arrival #4

Mark Van Bommel

The most experienced of all the signings so far this season. His addition to the team would prove to be a huge boost to the ageing Milan midfield. He still has at least a good 2-3 years left in him to play at the topmost level. His ability to win back balls in the midfield might remind one about another Milan legend, Gennaro Gattuso. In the long-term absence of Andrea Pirlo, Van Bommel would be able to guide the team with all his experience.

One more MVB joins the Rossoneri!

Expectations this season

Another player who is cup-tied and would be unavailable in the Champions League. Since his playing time is going to be limited to Serie A and Coppa Italia matches, it would work in favor of Milan if Pirlo is saved for the more important Champions League fixtures. With age not exactly on his side, his only ally would be the wealth of experience gathered during his days at PSV, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Arrival #5

Didac Vila

With Milan focusing on improving their squad overall this season, their defense department just got a massive boost in the form of Didac Vila from RCD Espanyol. A full back was required in the long-term absence of Zambrotta and the inability of Luca Antonini to fill in his shoes. Didac was into his first season as a regular in the Espanyol side when he was snapped up by Milan. Already a part of the Spain Under-20 squad, Didac has the opportunity of a lifetime to become one of the Rossoneri legends. A tall, strong fullback was the need of the hour, and Mr. Galliani presented Didac as the solution.

Expectations this season

With the other winter signing Emanuelson already cup-tied, it is up to Didac to prove his worth for the Rossoneri in the Champions League. However, the full extent of this signing will only be realized when he is paired with Emanuelson and both will play in tandem in the left side of the pitch. In the remaining part of the season, Didac should play a major role, if the men in red-and-black harbors any hope for their 18th Scudetto.

Departure #1

Ronaldinho

Would he, won’t he, would he, won’t he? This saga dragged on for quite some time, till Ronaldinho finally left for his hometown club  Flamengo. Most of this season, he was left in the bench and managed a handful of first team action. Milan coach Allegri couldn’t blend him in to the existing line-up, and so this buck-toothed magician departed from the Italian shores. His contribution to Milan will not be forgotten for a long time. Grazie, Ronnie!

Back home!

Departure #2

Willy Aubameyang

This young player left Milan in this transfer window after spending three years on loan to various clubs. During his stay with the red-and-blacks, he mostly featured in the youth team games and a handful of pre-season friendlies. His departure to Kilmarnock can only be seen as a chance to get more first team action under his belt, since he is getting regular call-ups from the Gabonese national team. Even though he failed to make the first team on a regular basis, still he was a Rossonero. Grazie, Willy!

Loan moves

1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (to Saint Etienne)

2. Andrea Schenetti (to Prato)

3. Harmony Ikande (to Extremadura)

4. Oguchi Onyewu (to FC Twente)

5. Bruno Montolengo (to Bologna)

6. Luca Meregalli (to Pavia)

7. Dominic Adiyiah (to Partizan)

Follow us on twitter at @TheHardTackle

One Response to “AC Milan Transfer Saga : The Winds Of Change”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Parth Pandya says:

    The arrival of Emanuelson and Vila, both naturally left footed players, Milan may expect some repair work in the left bay which has often been exposed by the opponents during the season so far. However, it is again a gamble to start both these players since they are fairly unfamiliar to the Italian game and the opponents may make the most out of their lack of experience. What is important is, Allegri must stick on to a three men midfield with both MVB and Pirlo starting as many games as they can with either of Boetang and Flamini being the third man. Three way attack looks to have gelled by now but I ain’t sure how far would the harmony in the dressing room can be maintained if Cassano is kept away from the first team action.