Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Donnarumma Double


Even before taking control of the club, Fassone made it very clear that they were willing to do just about anything to renew Gigio Donnarumma and keep him at the club. And while his renewal was filled with missteps by everyone along the way, Fassone did pretty much bend over backwards to get the renewal done. That included loaning out the last of our other young, talented keepers and bringing Antonio Donnarumma back to deputize for his “little” (as in 1 inch taller than him) brother. So instead of just keeping Gigio, we did the Donnarumma Double.

Will they negate each other in the long run?

For a club who signed Kaka’s brother Digao, then for some inexplicable reason, also signed Jose Mauri’s brother, Juan, this nepotism thing has a history of going very badly for Milan. Signing a very inferior sibling to placate a very talented player is not great business. So bringing Antonio in is not looking particularly promising.

Antonio came to Milan’s youth sector when he was 15 years old. He actually did well in the youth teams, but when promoted to the first team, he made exactly zero appearances his first season and was then loaned out Serie B teams after that. When his contract with Milan was running out, he said he didn’t want to renew if he was going to be the third choice keeper at Milan. So instead, he accepted a transfer to Genoa, where he was… you guessed it… the third choice keeper at a lesser club. He did play for Bari on loan one of those years, who were in Serie B at the time. But eventually, he was sold to Greek side Asteras Tripolis, who finished 12th last season in the top Greek league.

The perspective is probably about right: we got one and a half keepers in this deal

So no way is he ever coming back to Milan with that failing career. Or Serie A, for that matter. Unless… his little brother Gigio holds out on his renewal and insists on Milan signing his big brother. And with the Storari contract nailed down ahead of all of this, Antonio actually might not be the worst of the three keepers. Which is even more frightening. This move leaves us virtually stranded in the goalkeeper position if anything should happen to Gigio.

But there is one way in which it makes sense. As Gigio’s big brother, he can mentor our superstar in ways no one else can. Who better than your big brother to be your friend when the pressures of being the third highest Serie A player at the age of 18 come crashing down on you? Or after those pressures, you cave and skip out on your high school exit exams to spend a few days in Ibiza with your girlfriend? Certainly it was obvious through the recent renewal nightmare that Gigio’s family really do have his best interests at heart and can help him to do the right thing. And it puts one family member on hand at all times in case Raiola comes sniffing around for a big paycheck, too.

The Donnarumma brothers shrine, as posted to Antonio's Instagram previously

It will be interesting to see how all of this works out. On the pitch, it’s absolutely frightening. A suspension or an injury to Gigio could see us go from having the best goalkeeper in the world to having two dreadful options instead. But having his brother in the team could go a long ways to keeping the kid’s head straight and preventing Donnarummagate 2.0. That is a situation we didn’t have with the Brazilian or Argentinian nepotism signings. So for better or for worse, we are doing the Donnarumma Double.


This post inspired by the music of Howard Shore’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” Soundtrack


Stay tuned for the Europa League Draw on Friday, July 14th

Our next match is
the ICC Tournament
Milan vs. Borussia Dortmund
Tuesday, July 18 • 7:20pm China Standard Time (7:20am EDT)
In Guangzhou, China

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