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Out With the Old, In With the New


There has been so much focus so far this summer on which players might be coming in at Milan that it seemed an almost unexpected surprise yesterday that so many contracts were rescinded or expired. A refreshing surprise, too, as fans realized that some of the players who have been such a weight and a burden to this team are finally gone. Who knew that we could strengthen the team so much by losing a few key players? Perhaps fortifying the team as much as bringing in some quality players might do? So while the mercato is now officially open and rumors are multiplying exponentially, let’s say goodbye to the outgoing players and hello to the new players.

We've freed the beast

Out With the Old:

Sulley “The Killer” Muntari (contract mutually rescinded) Fans will not miss the way he could kill any play, or any player for that matter. Losing the ball was his specialty, with losing his temper almost as common. His penchant for red cards, tantrums, and throwing water bottles will also not be missed. But was he a man or a monster? One way or the other, perhaps the only thing that will be missed will be his occasional wondergoals coming out of nowhere. But don’t worry, Menez has already marked those goals for himself.

Robinho (contract mutually rescinded) Wait, what? Robinho was still on our roster? Yes, he was, and we were paying 40% of his wages, too. But no more. He got a bad rap for his ability to miss goals at point blank range, and the verb “Robinhoed™” will long be understood by Milan fans, but he also scored some very important goals and played quite well at the beginning of his Milan career. Unfortunately, his contract was rescinded about two years too late.

Christian Abbiati (contract expired) Milan’s last man standing and longest serving player, beginning his career with the Rossoneri in 1998 will most likely retire now that his contract is up. He had the distinction of having the captain’s armband swiped from his rightful arm and given to Montolivo, and may also hold the distinction of being Milan’s most injured player over his career. But he was loyal and worked hard, and had some incredibly beastly games. It’s frightening as hell to think he’ll be gone and Agazzi will be second in line now. UPDATE: Six hours after posting this, Abbiati was given a one year contract renewal. Congratulations, Abbiati!

Heart of gold, foot of lead, feared by Ronaldo

Daniele Bonera (contract expired) Everyone’s favorite One Goal Wonder™, so named because he literally has a singular career goal, has perhaps caused more goals conceded by Milan than his teammates have scored in recent years. Despite being identified as Patient Zero™, he was renewed for his leadership skills, and Bonny, as his teammates affectionately call him, is perhaps the nicest player ever. Maybe fans will remember him as Big Game Bonera™, marking players like Messi like fly paper on a fly. But most fans will probably finally be able to sleep again knowing that he will never be in the starting lineup again.

Philippe Mexes (contract expired) aka the Walking Red Card, wore out his welcome this year with his violent assault on Mauri when we played Lazio. While known for his temper and no stranger to the red cards, he also made some incredible stops and saves and also scored some incredible goals, making fans almost love him again. But for all of the hate he got for his errors and his hotheadedness, it was he, with tears in his eyes, who reminded the players to salute the fans at the end of the last home game of the year.

Giampaolo Pazzini (contract expired) this exit is hard for me, as he was a personal favorite. With Inzaghi helping me to fall in love with poachers, I truly appreciated all that Pazzini did for us. Between the goals he did score and even the goals he didn’t, no one was more furbo than him. He could draw the defenders and get the calls, and he always hustled, always worked hard. I’m happy he seems to have a new club on the horizon and wish him best of luck with the rest of his career.

Who was that masked hero?

Didac Vila (contract expired) Who? He was the Spanish left back who made one appearance for Milan in between being injured longterm and forever on loan after that. Still scratching my head on why we ever signed him, honestly. But grateful that spot is finally cleared from our roster.

Van Ginkel (loan expired) The master of the offensive interview, young van Ginkel made a first impression by telling the media he was glad that there was no buyout clause in his loan deal with Milan. Eventually, when injuries subsided and he finally got some playing time, fans seemed to warm up to him. But there has been no news about Chelsea extending the loan, so at least he is leaving having made a better impression.

Another lifelong Milanista

In With the New:

Andrea Bertolacci (contract until 2019) The young midfielder was co-owned by Roma and Genoa, and Roma bought him out so that they could cash in on Milan’s apparent newfound fortunes. However, the 24 year-old has been playing at Genoa the past three years and looks like a pretty solid signing. Did I mention he was young? And also Italian? Nice work, Galliani. I think Berlusconi has a treat for you now. Good boy.

Simone Verdi (Milan Youth player reacquired through co-ownership bid) Always a promising youth player, he won the Coppa Italia with the Primavera in 2010. We sold half of his rights to Torino in a co-ownership deal, and he’s most recently been on loan for the past two years with Empoli. He helped the team gain promotion to Serie A last year, and played quite well, especially against us in September. Rumor has it he’s a mean trequartista, too.

So thrilled to sign a renewal, it's like he just scored the Derby winner

Additionally, the contracts of Abate (2019), De Jong (2018), and Niang (2019) have also been extended. Keep in mind that any of the players whose contracts expired could still come back, as there is nothing Galliani likes more than a free transfer. But if they are gone, I’d personally like to thank them all for their positive contributions to Milan and wish them well. (I am retaining the right to let the legends of their negative contributions live on indefinitely.) Out with the old, in with the new. Things are suddenly looking up for Milan.


This post inspired by the music of The Sundays’ “Here’s Where the Story Ends”