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Mercato Roundup: Tutti al Circo!

With Milan’s mercato supposedly complete, this summer has had the feeling of a giant circus adventure. You know, the really, really sad kind where circus employees are taking swigs of liquor behind the circus tents, the clowns’ faces are so scary, they don’t need makeup, and even the animals are taking drags on cigarettes. Yup, it’s been a wild ride, but Galliani swears it is over. And though he is like the boy who cried wolf, I thought I could take a day to peek at our new acquisitions, with player profiles hopefully coming soon for those we’ve not had a chance to meet yet. So, “Tutti al Circo!” Or, “Everybody to the Circus!”

The Mercato Ringmaster himself


Attackers: i Leoni (the lions)

Giampaolo Pazzini: the 1.8m or 5’11” prima punta may have been rotting away at Inter the past 18 months, but he and his class are happy to be at Milan, where he could easily solidify a starting position once he becomes match fit. A predator on goal, he was lethal when fed great passes into the box, and can be lethal again.



M’Baye Niang: the 17 year-old French striker was considered a phenom in France, he is the youngest striker ever to start in Ligue 1. While he is still young and will certainly need to acclimate to Serie A, signing someone so young for the first team is a big step for the club. He is being compared to Balotelli as far as abilities and strengths, it would be great for Milan if he can grow into something similar.


Bojan Krkić Pérez: Many people are a little more skeptical about this signing, the former Barcelona player and Roma reject signed for Milan on his 22nd birthday. While it is unknown how his skills will fit into Allegri’s formation, he was requested by the coach, so let’s hope Allegri is able to work his magic on him to bring out the best in him.


An attack that would devour our opponents' defense...

Midfielders: i Trapezisti (the trapeze artists)

Riccardo Montolivo: The former Fiorentina midfielder that everyone wanted last year finally made it. But will he be worth his paycheck? Everyone thinks he’s best as a regista, but honestly, he was better at the Euros playing further forward. The good news is he used to link up with Pazzini at Fiorentina, so here’s hoping to see that magic again.


Bakaye Traoré: The French player was as surprised as the rest of us that Milan wanted him, coming from Nancy in Ligue 1, who finished midtable last year. He has seemed a little clumsy so far, but he works really hard. Allegri asked for him, he had been scouted at the African Cup of Nations, so I will trust that his potential will be realized at Milan.


Kevin Constant: The 25 year-old French-born midfielder began his career in France, but spent a brilliant year at Chievo. Genoa picked him up last year where he struggled a bit to impress as much. Having been brought in on loan due to Muntari’s ligament injury, he’s given some very impressive performances in very few minutes so far for Milan. Looking forward to seeing him given some chances to prove his worth.

We want the artistry in our midfield to be breathtaking

Defenders: i Mister Muscoli (the strongmen)

Francesco Acerbi: The humble Milanista whose father didn’t live long enough to see his son realize his dream is a lumbering 1.92m (6’4”) center back who played at Chievo last year. Having spent time in Serie B and Lega Pro, his rise to success has been fast, perhaps faster than the growth of his skills. While he seems to have a bit of a learning curve in front of him, it seems that with a little confidence, he can become the center back of our dreams.

Cristián Zapata: The 1.87m (6’2”) Colombian center back is best known in Serie A circles for his time at Udinese where he bossed the defense with his pace and mad skills. Now on loan from Villareal, where he was played out of position as a fullback and did not shine as well, he could form a terrific partnership with Colombian international teammate Mario Yepes, having played together before.


A strong backline to keep clean sheets, please

Goalkeeper: il Domatore (the lion tamer)

Gabriel Vasconcellos Ferreira: The 19 year-old Brazilian was picked up presumably to be groomed for the future, even if third keepers never get any playing time. He was bumped ahead of Neto to start for Brazil during the Olympics, and showed both potential and also that he’s still 19. But at least he has potential. We’ll have to wait and see why management would bring in such a young player for the 3rd spot.

Fearless against attackers, goalkeeping 101

Well, there you have it, the circus that was Milan’s mercato this summer. Everyone is still hoping that Galliani has at least one more Galliani Day™ gift up his sleeve, because Allegri never got his defensive midfielder, we still don’t have anything close to a trequartista, and Maldini’s eternal vacancy at left back will haunt us every time Antonini takes the pitch. But we can be grateful, as Pazzini and Zapata are definitely quality signings, we have a boatload of potential, and we have more youngsters now than a preschool classroom, so they have held true to what Berlusconi has said we would do. Now, on with the show! Tutti al Circo!


This post inspired by the children’s book, “Tutti al Circo,”
text by Giovanna Mantegazza, illustrations by Cristina Mesturini


Our next match is
Bologna vs. Milan
Saturday, September 1 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)