With all of the rumors swirling around the situation involving Gonzalo Higuain, Juventus, and Chelsea, it’s easy to forget that there are other transfer priorities at AC Milan besides sorting out the striker situation.
It’s being reported that Milan have landed the signature of Sporting Clube de Portugal and Portugal U19 defender Tiago Djaló. Lazio was also rumored to be interested in the player, and who doesn’t like beating them to something?
The teenage defender, who won’t turn 19 until April, has been in the youth system of Sporting for the past five years, and has made a number of appearances in the Sporting B team this season. The Sporting B actually functions as the team’s U23 team and, unlike in England or in Italy, actually plays in the second division of the Portuguese League, along with Benfica B, FC Porto B, and the B teams of a few other of the “bigger” clubs in Portugal’s first division. There are also a few independent clubs, such as CD Nacional, who have played in the first division in the recent past. He’s played for Sporting B 12 times this season, and he’s even netted a goal.
Djaló is a central defender who appears to have a bright future ahead of him, as he’s already been called up to the Portugal U19 team. He made three appearances for the Portugal U18 team, getting one goal in the process, and also appeared 14 times for the Portugal U17 team.
This signing won’t pay any dividends for a couple seasons, but it’s still good to see that the club is trying to sign young players with potential that could one day star for Milan. It’s all well and good to land high-profile players, but getting a number of young players could also mean that Milan will be able to develop their own stars in the Primavera squad.
Think of this as a low-cost, high-reward signing. If the player never pans out, so be it, and he’ll probably have a career in the lower divisions of Italy or back in Portugal. If he does pan out, then Milan will have landed a star player on the cheap. Deals like this aren’t the most exciting, but they can be extremely important for a club.