Per Calciomercato, AC Milan and Tiemoue Bakayoko have agreed a loan deal with an option to buy between €30-€35 million. All parties are in agreement with just the contract signature missing from the Frenchman, subject to a successful medical. Mateo Kovacic’s move to Stamford Bridge opens the door for Bakayoko to leave and he’s agreed to do so. The man who was highly sought after last year following his wonderful season with Monaco will sign with the rossoneri.
What does this mean for Milan? Leonardo and Maldini have been looking for a mezz’ala to alleviate the workload of Kessie and Bonaventua, and while Bakayoko and Kessie have similar traits, the former is more of a defensive midfielder. It’s been speculated that this signing allows tactical flexibility, allowing the use of a 4-2-3-1 as an alternative to the 4-3-3. The 4-2-3-1 is the very formation that allowed Bakayoko to showcase his ability at Monaco and could be employed by Gattuso if deemed usable given Suso’s status as a winger more so than an outside midfielder.
What does Bakayoko offer? A lot more than he’s being given credit for by Milanisti. The Frenchman offers depth in every midfield role. He can initially back-up Kessie, who played 54 games last year, and can provide depth in the case where Biglia and Locatelli don’t get the job done. He’s also a very low risk high reward signing. If he does well, we buy him at a cut price relative to what Chelsea paid. If he doesn’t, then he’s shipped back to Stamford bridge free of charge. He’s physical, young, 6’2”, and has shown he can do a job before with Monaco. Loads of players flopped at Chelsea. Shall we review De Bruyne, Lukaku, Salah, Filipe Luis, and Cuadrado?
Signing Grading: B+
I like what we get and the idea behind it, but he’s not a true mezz’ala. Regardless, what we get vs. what we lose is more heavily in our favor.