Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Fine As We Are


Today the Italian transfer market closes. This used to be called Galliani Day™ around here, a day of excitement because you never knew when Galliani was going to just hop off of that bicycle, undo another button from that white dress shirt he always wears with those casual shorts, and ruthlessly sign a big name player before their club even knew what hit them. Generally offering them an infinite contract and wages, of course. But still, it was exciting. You woke up with one team on Galliani Day™ and at the end of the day, you had an entirely different team. Bam! But as the past four years have seen, even Galliani’s false bravado has gone a bit impotent and our transfer markets make you want to crawl up inside yourself with fear. Each mercato getting worse, each time thinking “he can’t do worse than the last time,” but then he has. Every time. But this one is the best ever. Even though we knew up front we wouldn’t even have one. (Thanks Sino Europe Sports.) In fact, it’s so bad, not even Galliani is saying his catch phrase, “Fine as we are.”

Surprised he hasn't had to sell the bike

We were told there would be no mercato. Sino Europe’s dedication to making Milan great again includes destroying not one, but now two transfer markets for the club they claim they love. Then we were told that if players left, we could use the money that we got from the sale to get new players. Except the players would have to have the approval of Berlusconi, Galliani, Fininvest, Montella, Sino Europe Sports, Fassone, and Mirabelli. Almost a starting eleven of approvals to be made and agreed upon at every step. Surely that would never impede a transfer, right? Seems like a great plan to me. And so the plan was clearly to fail. But if you thought you knew the level of failure possible, even this level of failure might surprise you.


Players Out

Gabriel after extending his contract through 2019, (why did he even sign for us in the first place?) he went on loan to Cagliari for six months. You know, for all of that playing time he’s getting there. This never made any sense to me, and it’s turning out even worse than expected. We’re paying his replacement higher wages, too. Unbelievable, Galliani. You’ve really outdone yourself.

There's only room for one Adriano here at Milan, and he doesn't care how much he lost the club to get rid of me

Luiz Adriano to Spartak Moscow. While it was originally rumored that we would get a whopping €1m from this transfer, I don’t think we actually got anything. For a player whom, 18 months ago, we spent cold hard cash on: €14m in transfer fees (€8m plus €6m in undisclosed fees,) then we paid him €3m per year in wages for a total of €18.5m spent on this one player. And we gave him away. For nothing. At least he would have been worth a sub here and there to us, but now we don’t even have that. And don’t get me started on the “saved wages” story. Saving €3m per year for the remaining 3.5 years on his contract (€10.5m in total) was nothing compared to the €18.5m that Galliani threw away on him in such a short time. Especially when Galliani bought him at a time when there were other, cheaper, more productive strikers available. This was an epic fail on every level. Wait, scratch that. Epic fail just texted me that it wants nothing to do with this deal, that's how much worse of a fail this is.

M’Baye Niang on loan to Watford with an option to buy for €18m. Montella called him sensitive and some other rather condescending things, words about a striker who was both loved and hated by fans, sometimes in the same day. A player who was barely ever even played at his natural position of center forward. If Watford do buy him and pay that price, it might be a good piece of business for the club. But not for the team, not right now. I’m not convinced his replacement, a winger, is any better than him if even equal.

Sure, worth a fortune if Watford actually buy. We'll see you again in six months, Niang.

Rodrigo Ely on loan to Deportivo Alaves in Spain for six months. What is there to say? The kid played once last season, made one mistake, got injured, and we’ve basically never seen him again. Good luck.

Total revenue generated from transfers out: €0-1m
(Unless of course you count the €1.3m we will get in 18 months when the buyout clause in Saponara’s transfer from Empoli to Fiorentina is activated… we’re gonna be RICH! Galliani strikes again!)


Players In

Marco Storari on a six month loan from Cagliari. The 40 year old is less talented than Gabriel, commands higher wages, has a bigger ego, is coming back to Milan after fighting to get out the whole three years he was here before, and also is here to escape a bad situation he made for himself at Cagliari. There goes the dressing room. Galliani’s specialty, bringing back the old, washed up players who destroy the harmony and corrupt all of our young players. As if that wasn’t enough, dearest Marco will be available on a free transfer in June. (drops mic)

Could do some good things for us, but not as versatile as Bonaventura

Gerard Deulofeu on a six month loan from Everton, no known option to buy. He’s young, talented, a Barcelona youth product, and he plays the same position as his buddy Suso, who has that spot carved in blood. Not sure why he was the centerpiece of Galliani’s mercato, but whatever. We are supposedly paying between €700.000-750.000 for his loan. To further emphasize how excited Milan was to have an actual transfer (albeit just a loan,) the official Twitter account tweeted his arrival days ahead of the medical and contract signing, angering Everton and risking the deal Galliani worked so hard on all month long. The fail just keeps on failing.

Patrick Cutrone supposedly promoted to the first team for the rest of the season from the Primavera. (He was not called up on Sunday, though.) We’ll see if Montella ever takes advantage of this tremendously talented player who so far seems to have been this mercato’s version of a Galliani Free Transfer, since he couldn’t actually buy any other players.

Even his face is not convinced that he's an upgrade for us

Lucas Ocampos from Genoa (aka Galliani’s feeder club) for a six month loan. The loan fee is reported to be €500.000. Once nominated for the Golden Boy award, now he’s scored three goals in 14 appearances this season for Genoa. I don’t see him as an upgrade in any way from Niang, other than there is no known history of driving Bakaye Traore’s car or jumping off of buildings. But I don't think he's as strong, as good on defense, or as willing to try crazy things on the pitch as Niang, either. And we only have him for six months, no option to buy. This has got to be a move made from the Gallianicycle™. Or at least when he was drunk and singing karaoke with Preziosi.

Total cost of transfers in: €1.2-1.25m
(unless you count the experience of breaking your teammates’ heads open in celebration… that is priceless.)


The fateful fatal words of a man who has been like a vampire to Milan for way too long

We have fewer players, lower quality players, and actually spent more than we received. We lost €14m in transfer fees on ONE deal. ONE DEAL. At a time when we desperately needed the revenue. But as if Galliani’s failure wasn’t massive enough, we were hit with two very devastating injuries on Sunday. Losing Bonaventura possibly for the season, and De Sciglio for probably two months at least, we really could have used a Galliani Day™ this time to give us some more depth or at least even warm bodies. But, on the penultimate day of the mercato, yesterday, Galliani informed us that our mercato is closed. We were rumored to be getting rid of Vangioni, one of Galliani’s most pointless transfers in the past year or so. But I suppose with De Sciglio out, we needed a body posing as a fullback, so he stays. The market is closed for Milan, and what a horrific mercato it was. But you know, we’re fine as we are.

This photoshop was once considered a bit pessimistic. Now we could only dream of free transfers.

At least there was one bright spot in the transfer window. With all of these players selling their souls to play in China, Galliani gleefully revealed that he also turned down a big offer to go to China in 2013. That’s so unlike him, turning down a golden opportunity, when he was still respected and had a market value, and could make optimum money… oh, wait. Well at least he stuck around to remind us every mercato since then that we’re fine as we are.


This post inspired by the music of The Sex Pistols


Our next match is
Milan vs. Sampdoria
Sunday, February 5 • 12:30 CET (6:30am EST)

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