It's been one interesting mercato for Milan. This summer kicked off with everyone questioning whether Berlusconi would live up to his claim that Milan would spend around 150 million this transfer window (ultimately, Milan ended up spending around 90 million). Then Milan immediately started shopping, with both Jackson Martinez and Geoffrey Kondogbia seeming to be on the verge of signing for Milan. However, after an unfortunate turn of events, Martinez went to Athletico Madrid and Kondogbia to Inter Milan. In somma, Milan's mercato can be described with the familiar adage that when one door closes, another door opens. How so? Well, Milan bounced back from these initial losses in the early days of the transfer window with a spending spree, signing Carlos Bacca, Luiz Adriano, Andrea Bertolacci, and eventually Alessio Romagnoli.
Since Milan sold Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2012, there's been a Zlatan-sized hole in Milan's offense. Players like Jeremy Menez and Stephen El Shaarawy served as attempts to at least hide this gap, but in the words of America's sweetheart, Taylor Swift: "Bandages don't fix bullet holes." This transfer window, however, Adriano Galliani has signed a striker that will finally be able to address one of Milan's many weaknesses. Carlos Bacca joined Milan for 21 million euros from Spanish side Sevilla. In two years Carlos Bacca banked 34 goals and had an impressive 71% accuracy at goal. Bacca's ability to find open space and exploit it, coupled with his clinical striking, will allow him to be a crucial player for Milan this season. The only issue with Bacca is that he needs service from the rest of Milan's roster in order to work his magic. He is not the type of player to dribble and then shoot. Usually he is in such good position that all he has to do is shoot. One of the best things about Milan's offense this year, then, is that they have acquired both Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano.
Luiz Adriano plays in a manner very similar to that of Carlos Bacca. He finds space and exploits it, but requires service from the rest of the team. He is a poacher and the majority of his goals involve one or two touches. Two seasons ago, he scored 20 goals, and the question is whether he can reproduce at Milan what he has done for the last three seasons at FC Shaktar. It will also be interesting to see if two poachers can play together. Milan may be risking playing the same repetitive way when they are going to goal. Il Mister Mihajlovic may need to mix things up by playing Niang or Balotelli up top.
Someone needs to give service to Luiz Adriano and Carlos Bacca. This person is Andrea Bertolacci. Hopefully Adriano, acca, and Bertolacci can create a Diego Costa - Fabregas partnership where Bertolacci, a very creative and smart midfielder with loads of potential, just plays the ball up to one or the other and Milan score. Bertolacci came to Milan for 20 million euros, which is a hefty price for someone who hasn't really proven himself and was acquired by Roma for a mere 6 million euros. Despite this, Inter paid 40 million euros for Geoffrey Kondogbia, so Milan's deal wasn't too bad. Last season Bertolacci thrived at Genoa. He made 8 assists - the second highest number in the Serie A - and also contributed to Genoa's goal scoring count with 6 goals.
Milan purchased Alessio Romagnoli for 25 million euros. Dubbed as the next Nesta by Mihajlovic, 20-year old Alessio Romagnoli is a key component of not only this season's rebuild, but for Milan's future. Romagnoli's 83% in pass percentage in 29 appearances speaks volumes toward his comfort with the ball at his feet and his intelligence on the pitch. Romagnoli is able to steal the ball from the opposition and then quickly start an attack. This is something that only very high-quality center-backs, like Gerard Pique or Sergio Ramos, are able to do. Because Romagnoli played left back for a snippet of his career, he has the experience of playing higher up the field and even has some attacking flair to complement his defensive capabilities. In other words, even though he is a defender, he can still aid in Milan's attack. Because Mihajlovic is very fond of Romagnoli and Romagnoli understands Mihajlovic's high standards as a coach, he should be able to thrive at Milan.
Even though Milan signed four high-quality players (maybe five, depending on how Balotelli plays), Milan did miss out on a number of players and still lack midfield presence. Because of this Milan's, overall grade for this transfer window should be a respectable, but still regrettable, B-. Now, if only Milan had signed Axle Witsel...
What are your thoughts on Milan's mercato, amici? Who should we have signed? Did we overspend? Not spend enough? Let your thoughts be known below!