Well, the deal is officially done.
Gonzalo Higuain and Mattia Caldara have signed for AC Milan from Juventus and Leonardo Bonucci has headed in the opposite direction. Higuain has signed a loan deal with an initial payment of €18 million up front, with an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season for an additional €36 million. Both Caldara and Bonucci were officially valued at €35 million, so that deal was considered a straight swap.
Higuain will wear his traditional number nine shirt at Milan, while Caldara will wear number 33, as his preferred number of 13 has already been taken by Alesso Romagnoli. Of course, both Romagnoli and Caldara wear 13 in tribute to Milan great Alessandro Nesta.
And yes, you can already buy the custom player shirts from the Milan store.
It’s been said a few times before, but this is quite a deal for Milan. Caldara is a brilliant signing. He’s 24 years old, had spent two seasons on loan Atalanta and was a large part of the reason that Atalanta was able to qualify for the Europa League and have such a successful season. He’s made his debut for the senior Italy team, and he will almost certainly form a brilliant partnership with Romagnoli, giving Milan one of the better CB pairings in Serie A.
It’s also brilliant that the 23 year-old Romagnoli has the chance to partner with Caldara at both the national team level as well as the club level, meaning that the two of them can, if everything goes correctly, form the core of the defense for both Milan and the national team. As much attention as the signing of Higuain has gotten, and for good reason, this signing might actually be the better part of this deal.
Gonzalo Higuain might be 30 years old, but he’s been a brilliant striker for years in Serie A. He’s been one of the top strikers every single year for the past three seasons, and he’s only a couple years removed from scoring 36 goals in 34 Serie A appearances for Napoli. Milan were missing a consistent goal scorer last year, and now the Rossonero have one.
Patrick Cutrone and Andre Silva, assuming Silva doesn’t move on, will be able to learn from one of the best finishers in the world and with Milan being in the Europa League, there will be plenty of opportunities for everyone get minutes.
Higuain and Caldara are Milan players. Who would have thought that this was possible at the beginning of the summer transfer window, when everyone thought that Milan would be picking up Simeone Zaza or hoping for a few free agent signings?