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Missing Parts: Summer Mercato Wrapup


This summer’s mercato was characterized by missing parts. First, the announcement of the exit of a number of players whose performances had gone missing for some time, and now the club was finally seeing to it that those players themselves would go missing, too. Then some failed signings and a number of signings that seemed like they would improve the squad, and still everyone was happy. But there were just one or two more missing pieces that had been desperately needed: a quality midfielder and perhaps another decent defender. If we were truly to compete for a Champions League spot again, we desperately needed a good midfielder. But Galliani Day™ came and went, and the only midfielder that came in was one who will be lucky to make the starting 11, but definitely does not improve the squad. So here we are, a largely improved squad, but still not competitive due to missing parts.


Here is the entire wrapup of the summer transfer window for Milan to the best of my knowledge:

New Players:
Rodrigo Ely (brought back from Avellino loan)
Andrea Bertolacci (€20m from Roma, been playing for Genoa)
Luiz Adriano (€8m from Shakhtar Donetsk)
Carlos Bacca (€30m buyout clause from Sevilla)
José Mauri (free agent from Parma)
Romagnoli (€25m from Roma + a sell-on clause)
Mario Balotelli (on loan from Liverpool)
Juraj Kucka (from Genoa, 3 year contract)
Donnarumma (promoted from Primavera)
Calabria (promoted from Primavera)


Already in squad:
Lopez
Abbiati ** renewed through 2016
Abate ** renewed through 2019
Antonelli
Alex
De Sciglio
Mexes (contract expired, but renewed for 1 yr. as a gift from the President)
Zapata
Bonaventura
De Jong ** renewed through 2018
Montolivo
Poli
Nocerino (loan with Parma was up)
Suso
Cerci
Honda
Menez
Niang (loan with Genoa was up) ** renewed until 2019


€58m of awesome?

Currently out on loan (but owned by Milan):
Gabriel (on 1 yr. loan to Napoli) ** renewed until 2018
Petagna (on loan to Ascoli 1 yr. w/option to buy, also buy-back option)
Paletta (on 1 yr. loan to Atalanta)
Jherson Vergara (on loan to Livorno w/buyout clause)
Agazzi (on loan to Middlesbrough w/buyout clause)
Mastour (on loan to Malaga wo/ption to buy & buy-back option)


In and Out:
Andrea Pessina (bought from Monza, loaned to Lecce for the season)
Simone Verdi (€500.000 co-ownership from Torino, loaned to Eibar w/option to buy)
Matri (loan with Juventus was up, loaned to Lazio)


Out:
Bocchetti (loan over – back to Spartak Moscow)
Destro (loan over – back to Roma)
Birsa  (bought by Chievo)
Essien (to Panathanaikos as a free agent)
Saponara (sold to Empoli)
Robinho (contract mutually rescinded)
Bonera (contract expired)
Muntari (contract mutually rescinded, moved to Saudi Arabia)
Pazzini (contract expired, moved to Verona)
Didac Vila (contract expired)
Van Ginkel (loan over – back to Chelsea)
Rami (sold to Sevilla)
El Shaarawy (to Monaco loan w/right of redemption)
Albertazzi (sold to Verona, 3 yr. contract)
Zaccardo (sold to Carpi)

Note: This list does not include Milan youth players given contracts or on loan/going on loan

Is anyone actually going to be missing these pieces?

From the beginning of this mercato, when Milan finally dug deep and sent recent legends such as Essien, Muntari and Bonera packing, I noted that this would be a mercato of addition by subtraction. Truly, we were an improved squad before we even made any purchases. And most of the purchases absolutely improve our squad further: Bacca and Adriano are already scoring despite coming from other leagues. The young players Ely, Calabria, and Donnarumma have already demonstrated their first team worthiness despite making naïve errors. While the question of whether some of the other purchases are worth their price cannot yet be answered, I still feel this squad is very much improved.

And yet, it’s not quite enough, is it? We are one midfielder shy at a Champions League spot run. Kind of like buying 75-80% of a car and expecting it to get you to your destination. And it’s a shame, too, because missing that one piece puts a cloud over the rest of this mercato, which was by far Milan’s best effort in years. It takes away from the quality we gained and the lack of quality we lost, because we missed the mark so grievously. Instead of being happy with the improvements, this squad will be remembered only for its missing parts.


This post inspired by the music of Missing Persons


Our next match is
Il Derby della Madonnina
Inter vs. AC Milan
Sunday, September 13 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)