The season is upon us and today we will start the season preview series for the club. We will follow this with a check-in on all areas of the squad!
First up, are the four goalkeepers currently on the first team. Obviously, the star is Gianluigi Donnarumma, but accompanying him are his older brother Antonio Donnarumma, Alessandro Guarnone and gritty veteran Marco Storari. This year it will be understandable to hope for little change and see if Gianluigi can replicate another fantastic season.
PLAYERS SOLD: ALESSANDRO PLIZZARI (Loan)
PLAYERS PURCHASED: ANTONIO DONNARUMMA
PLAYERS CALLED UP: ALESSANDRO GUARNONE
Last season was a breakout season for the young 18 year old and he showed he is capable of manning the goal for a club with such history like AC Milan. In the last season, he had 38 appearances in Serie A playing every single minute of the season and amassing a total of 12 clean sheets good enough for 5th best on the league (WhoScored). This window was very eventful for Gianluigi, seeing him become the subject of transfer rumors from everybody on the planet, it seemed like. In the end, he signed a new contract with the Rossoneri, here's ESPNFC with some of the details-
Reports in Italy said the deal was worth €6 million per year net, and includes a release clause in excess of €70m, or less if Milan fail to qualify for the Champions League. He had been on an academy contract up until signing his new agreement, despite having played 68 times already in Serie A.
Clearly, if these reports are true, Milan have to have a great season if we want to keep hold of this marvelous goalkeeper, in what is essentially a one year deal with this type of release clause. With this deal it puts him in the top 3 of best paid goalkeepers in the world, ahead of Gianluigi Buffon who is Donnarumma’s idol (Also Name Bearer). As a goalkeeper he has great reflexes and is a good passer and at his age of only 18 can improve so much still.
The expectations for the whole team are massive and that’s what happens when you have such a massive Summer transfer window with such success. For the younger Donnarumma, this will be a great test for him, both at the club level and to prove he can be the heir to Buffoon on the national team stage for the Azzurri. Hopefully, he can replicate another great season and milan to challenge for Serie A and qualify for the Champions League.
A new goalkeeper for AC Milan, who comes from Asteras Tripoli as a sign-on condition reportedly put up by his younger brother Gianluigi. The 27 year old is relatively unknown plying his trade for the lowly Tripoli in the Greek Super League who finished 13th out of 16 teams and failed to qualify for the playoffs on Greece. Antonio for his part, played 21 games for them and could do well as possible backup for his brother.
Expectations for him will be to help Gianluigi continue to flourish and hopefully be a positive role model for the youngster. He might get some play in the Coppa Italia and that would be fine. He is relatively young and could be a solid backup for a while at the club.
The young player from the academy who is expected to be the fourth goalkeeper for the squad. He had no appearances for the club last season, but has proven in a couple friendlies to be decent enough to merit being with the first team full time for this upcoming season and learn from Storari and the Donnarumma brothers.
There are no real expectations for him except to keep improving to be an asset to the club as a backup and so he can keep his job on the first team. A possible loan also could on the cards for him, to get some playing time elsewhere.
The veteran is back with the club after playing the last two seasons at Cagliari, including 16 appearances for them (WhoScored). He returns to be the primary backup, as of now, for the team and to hopefully usher in a new era at Milan considering the last time he was in Milan the team made the Champions League consistently which has not been the case recently.
Expectations for him are to be a solid veteran presence for the goalkeeping room and to help in the development of Donnarumma and maybe show him to be a better professional. He will have respond in the case of an injury, but let’s hope it never gets there.
This season for the goalkeepers will be about how great can Gianluigi Donnarumma be under new ownership and new teammates and can they put it all together to be the contenders many consider them be.