The Mercato 11: Milan's Summer Transfers

Much has been discussed about Milan's mercato, with most experts giving the club the highest marks in Serie A for our summer transfer window. Looking at all of the players in and out, Milan is also recognized as having truly strengthened the squad. And they are right, it was another fantastic transfer season for Maldini, Massara, and the entire technical side. Milan's summer transfers make up Milan's Mercato 11.

Youth, experience, continuity, and consistency

Having spent just under €75 million, Milan were second only to Roma in spending, yet still managed to secure 11 new players. Which is good, because while Mourinho's side compete in UEFA's new Conference League this season, Milan are making the jump back into the Champions League. We will need the higher average age, the more experienced (and Champions League experienced) players, as well as the extra depth that this summer's transfers brought. Plus, the income from qualification will cover the majority of the club's expenditures. Unlike Inter, who are being praised for profiting by selling off all of the overpriced players they bought to win the Scudetto but couldn't afford or pay, Milan's side have actually been strengthened with investment that is in line with the economic growth of the club.

With Maignan we have safe hands and feet

Here are the players who left Milan this summer:

Gigio Donnarumma to PSG
Hakan Calhanoglu to Inter
Mario Mandzukić into retirement
Antonio Donnarumma to Padova
Diego Laxalt to Dynamo Moscow
Soualiho Meité end of loan deal with Torino
Mattia Caldara on loan to Venezia with option to purchase
Jens Petter Hauge on loan to Eintracht Frankfurt with obligation to purchase with certain criteria
Tommaso Pobega on loan to Torino

The players who left most controversially were Gigio Donnarumma and Calhanoglu, both betraying the trust of the club and fans by walking away for free. However, the new signings seem to cover those losses, if not at the same positions, by strengthening the players surrounding those positions. The most puzzling departure was Hauge. While Milan will make a profit if the purchase comes through, he is widely acknowledged as very talented and will likely be worth much more in a very short time. Certainly, he is already scoring for the German club, with two goals in three appearances.

Tomori is already worth his weight in goals

These are the new signings for Milan this summer:

Mike Maignan from Lille for €13.5m, will wear number 16

Fikayo Tomori purchased from Chelsea after loan deal for €29.2m, will continue to wear number 23

Sandro Tonali purchased from Brescia after loan deal for €7m + €3m in bonuses and the young Giacomo Olzer in exchange to Brescia on a permanent signing, Tonali will continue to wear number 8

Brahim Díaz signed a new two year loan deal from Real Madrid with a €19m right of redemption and a €27m buyback option for Real, will wear number 10

Olivier Giroud from Chelsea for €1m plus €2m in bonuses, will wear number 9

Fodé Ballo-Touré from Monaco for €4.5m, will wear number 5

Alessandro Florenzi on loan from Roma for €1m plus €4.5m option to buy, will wear number 25

Pietro Pellegri on €500,000 loan from Monaco with a €6m obligation to buy plus €1m in bonuses for 10+ goals scored and a 15% sell-on fee, will wear number 64

Tiémoué Bakayoko on a two year loan from Chelsea with an obligation of €15m if certain criteria are met, will wear number 41

Yacine Adli from Bordeaux for €8m, but the player will remain on loan to the French side this season

Junior Messias on loan from Crotone for €2.6m with a €5.6m right of redemption plus €1m in bonuses, will wear number 30

Taking a chance on a dream with Messias

The three returning players are considered as signings as important as any new signing, not only because of their immense talents, but also for continuity in the squad. Tomori, Tonali, and Brahim Díaz are also young and yet have shown plenty of maturity and growth, even since last season. Maignan is already proving himself to be a very capable and exciting goalkeeper, even if his playing style is very different to Donnarumma's. 

Olivier Giroud is largely seen as the coup d'état signing, not only for the low transfer cost, but for his vast experience and consistency. Milan have lacked a pure number 9 for nearly ten years now. Thus far, he is proving to be that missing piece up front who can not only draw the defenders, but play well with the other attackers and actually get the ball into the back of the net. He is strong, great in the air, confident, and grateful for the chance to prove himself to those who no longer valued him.

The coup d'état and missing piece for Milan

Ballo-Touré was brought in as an understudy to Theo Hernández and reportedly offers great speed and  ability to get forward, even if he lacks the scoring experience of our former Real Madrid fullback. Pietro Pellegri was brought back to Serie A as a promising young striker to grow with the team. We know what Bakayoko can and cannot do, but he is clearly also another backup in our midfield with the advantage of not having national team duty at AFCON for the month of January. Hopefully his noted lack of consistency and discipline will not be a problem this time around.

Florenzi could be an excellent signing if he remains injury free. At the age of 30, he has both Champions League and Serie A experience and the hunger to fight for a starting spot. He also has the flexibility to play as a right back, winger, or in the midfield, and jokingly offered to play in goal if necessary. Like Florenzi, Messias is 30 and offers Pioli some tactical flexibility. While he only has a year of experience in Serie A, he is also humble and hungry to prove himself, and can play on the wing or anywhere in the attacking midfield.

Florenzi could be a fundamental signing

The 21 year-old Yacine Adli is also supposed to be a very talented attacking midfielder, and Milan did well to secure him for next year. Not only does this show their vision for growth and the club's future, but it is good business to acquire him at such a low cost and before other clubs try to fought for his signature as well. There are rumors that Samu Castillejo could still leave, but nothing has been confirmed as of this writing.

Milan's transfer window offers more tactical flexibility for Pioli, more players in the event of potential injuries and squad rotation, more age and experience, and more depth at each position. Despite so many players in and out, the new players have slotted right into the team, partially because many of them have played together at previous clubs or for their national teams. While so many of our players are native French speakers or have played in France, the new players are also working hard to learn Italian and get to know their teammates. 

Adli is one for the future

This window is more proof of Maldini's vision for the club, returning to the Champions League with a mixture of young and experienced players. He is still committed to keeping wages low, such as letting the €6m per year Gigio Donnarumma go and bringing in Maignan for only €2.5m per year, for example. He also bargained with the best and walked away from overpriced options in favor of players who are young, hungry to win, and represent the Milan crest. To find all of that for an average cost of less than €7m per player in this market, and especially with the talent we have is nearly impossible. But tell that to Maldini, Massara, and everyone in the technical sector who successfully signed the Mercato 11.

This post inspired by the music of Michael Giacchino's "Mission: Impossible Theme"

Our next match is
Serie A Week 3
Milan vs. Lazio
Sunday, September 12 • 18:00 CEST

The Mercato 11: Milan's Summer Transfers The Mercato 11: Milan's Summer Transfers Reviewed by Elaine on 2:15 AM Rating: 5
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