I often scratch my head when I read the comments on this blog related to Goalkeepers. For a long time, I was a goalkeeper and my first job in Coaching was goalkeeper scouting for a local University until I became a goalkeeper Coach for the local High School and Premier Club. Eventually I moved on, but it all started with some understanding of the guy that stands between the sticks. I am actually possible how or why this move was needed or can be considered a good one?
First and foremost, at 32, Diego Lopez is the perfect age for a GK. He has enough experience to have calmed his nerves and had some solid performance over the last few years. That; however, is part of my problem. They guy is a relatively unknown commodity and while we often sit here in the comments and say we want to see demonstrated success over more than a season from a certain Coach or Player that logic is now thrown out the window? He played good football behind a great team. Is he the guaranteed starter next season for AC Milan, heck no, and if the other two guys were not Agazzi and Gabriel you would argue he may not be the number two! Now I am all for a good competition between players to push them both, and maybe he wins the GK battle and earns the job, I am OK with that. But to give him that status right now is silly.
Abbiati is a quite leader on this team, he was won Titles and Champions League Trophies, and to simply dismiss him is a bit disrespectful not to mention a bit silly considering his lifetime numbers are superior to Diego Lopez with more games played which usually hurts a GK. Abbiati did not have the luxury of playing with a solid team last season so while his performances may not have been up to his usual par he faced more shots, was exposed more often frankly had a crap defense.
At the end of the day this is a lateral move, the sort of stuff that has defined the Milan transfer market for the last few seasons. Instead of placing an eye on the future and investing in someone like Perin, Milan cheaps out, plunks down a lot of money in wages and sets up the exact same situation two to three years down the line. They did it with Amelia and they are doing it now. The right move was right there, Niang plus cash for Mattia Perin, and Milan took the wrong move as they have done time and time again over the last three seasons.