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Where's the love for Jose Sosa?

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The pessimism and criticism over a potential Jose Sosa transfer is premature and unwarranted. It's okay to love Sosa.

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One of the more interesting transfer sagas in this window has been the one involving Besiktas playmaker Jose Sosa.  Reports have indicated that the 31 year old Argentine midfielder was specifically requested by new manager Vincenzo Montella, and that the Rossoneri have already started negotiating with Besiktas for the player.  Moreover, it appears as though Sosa is pushing for a Milan move and has told Besiktas of his intentions to leave. Despite Sosa being one of the best players on Besiktas, a team who just won the Super Lig title and have already qualified for next season's Champions League, fans have been incredibly critical of his potential arrival.  Most of the criticism stems from his advanced age, and this is no way to judge a player's quality and ability.

At 31 years old, Sosa is viewed as a player in decline, and maybe this is true, but it's also unfair and flat out wrong to assume that Sosa at 31 is a worse player than he was at 26.  Player's careers aren't always linear like they are on manager mode.  Some are going to reach their full potential during their conventional years (26-28) while some may hit their peak earlier or later.  Why can't Sosa simply be a late bloomer who figured it out after bouncing around a little bit?  By all accounts Sosa is playing the best football of his career, and that is all that should concern Milanisti at this point.

Yes, Milan should be focusing on younger players who can grow and develop as the team (hopefully) begins its slow ascent up the table. However, Jose Sosa's age is almost completely irrelevant based on the role he would take up in the squad and his price. It's very likely that Sosa would be replacing one of Jeremy Menez or Keisuke Honda who are both likely to depart Milan in the coming weeks. Menez is 29 years old and Honda is 30, so it's not like Milan are signing a 31 year old to replace a quality youngster like Mattia De Sciglio or M'Baye Niang. Signing Sosa would not make the squad tangibly older as he would be a like for like replacement. Sosa would be signed to take the place of another older creative player, and would most likely replace Honda and/or Menez as a fringe starter or first off of the bench depth.  It's easy to want Milan to construct an entire roster of 20 something year olds, but this isn't practical or possible. As long as Sosa is brought into replace another older player he won't hinder the youth movement.

In addition, the fact that Sosa's price is rumoured to be in the neighbourhood of €5 million is another reason not to worry about his age. If Milan were investing €15 milllion plus for a player who just turned 31 that would be a major problem, but the fact that Milan wouldn't be breaking the bank for Sosa means Milanisti shouldn't be too concerned about his age, they should just worry about how good he is, and by all accounts Jose Sosa is a pretty good footballer. Sosa recorded an impressive 7 goals and 12 assists in 30 league games last year, and was awarded man of the match 7 times by Who Scored, and judging by the negative reaction of Besiktas fans to the news of his potential transfer, he's probably a pretty good player.

Maybe Sosa works out for Milan, or maybe he doesn't. As someone who has never seen him play I can't bring myself to predict what he would bring to the table next season. However, it is unfair to criticize and complain about his potential transfer just because he's 31 and doesn't play in a top 4 league. By all accounts Sosa is a good player on a good team and that is what's most important.