Andrea Bertolacci's career has not been an easy one. Despite the fact that he has been considered one of the best young midfielders in Italy since from a young age, he never played for Roma, his hometown team, and spent most of his career on co-ownership deals (first with Lecce, then Genoa). He finally made it back home, but his reunion with Roma was fleeting. Milan and Roma agreed to a deal a couple of days ago (reported to be for 20 million euros) and news broke today that the ink has been signed. Rejoice, Milanisti! The club has completed a transfer!
AC Milan (@acmilan) June 29, 2015
The 24-year-old Italian midfielder is the first official reinforcement to the current roster and will add quality and depth in the most crucial position for this team. Bertolacci is known for his great energy, versatility and finishing ability. He is also the kind of player that Mihalilovic likes to coach best because of his stellar work ethic. His contributions have been pretty solid in his last three seasons at Genoa: 12 goals and 14 assists in 90 appearances are very good stats for a midfielder.
Though the club did not officially disclose the fee paid for Bertolacci's services, various reports suggest that Roma will pocket a tidy 20 million euros in the deal. While such a sum is an obvious overpayment, after the club's early struggles in the transfer market, they simply could not afford to miss out on another transfer target, and it appears the Giallrossi capitalized at Milan's expense.
Milan surely needed a player like Bertolacci, but was he really worth that amount of money? That's not an easy question to answer because there are many things to consider. Firstly, he's a young and versatile midfielder that can fill either the CM or the CAM spot and has above the average finishing skills; on the other hand, he's not the playmaker type of midfielder and doesn't fit well in a low-tempo system like Milan's was last season. From an economical standpoint, Roma paid 8.5 million euros for the other half of his ownership, so his actual transfer value was reasonably around 12-15 million euros, but this price was likely non-negotiable. Zio Fester may have paid a bit much for Bertolacci, but he surely picked one of the best Italian midfielders available on the market as Milan's first acquisition in this transfer window.