AC Milan have signed 32 year old Bosnia international Asmir Begovic on a 6 month loan to replace the outgoing Reina. Here's what to expect from the keeper:
Begovic Is A 6 Month Cover, Nothing More
No disrespect to the Bosnia international but he is a downgrade at the back up position from Pepe Reina and he is just a 6 month cover who will likely not feature much for AC Milan. Begovic was the starter at Bournemouth last season but is now considered excess by the club hence he spent the first six months f the season on loan at Qarabag in Azerbaijan and will now spend the next six months at Milan in Italy. The former Chelsea and Stoke City keeper has struggled for form since about 2017 and should not be expected to contribute much at Milan. He will likely feature in the Coppa Italia and in the league when Donnarumma is unavailable.
Asmir Begović is having a medical with AC Milan ahead of a loan move from Bournemouth until the end of the season. (Source: BBC) pic.twitter.com/aLBlN93blj— Paul Mugabe (@paulwalkerm1) January 12, 2020
Begovic Adds Cover and Experience Under Pressure
Begovic has played the majority of his career with sides stuck mid table or battling relegation thus he can offer some advice and some experience on managing tough situations. Milan are coming under fire much more this season than the previous two years because the side has lost some fear factor and are missing Gattuso’s grinta. Donnarumma is being forced to make many more saves and the keeper is once again at the forefront of keeping the side afloat. Begovic has had similar experiences when he helped Stoke City fight to remain in the Premier League between 2010 and 2013 and even rise up to the top half in the subsequent season with improved defensive stats over the five years.
With the arrival of Begovic, Gianluigi Donnarumma has his fifth veteran mentor in his first five seasons.— Milan by Numbers (@MilanNumbers) January 15, 2020
The young star has now played with Abbiati, Lopez, Storari, Reina and Begovic. Each with at least 15 years of experience.
Donnarumma Gets A Fresh Mentorship
One of the best things that comes from this kind of signing is a new mentor for Gianluigi Donnarumma. The young superstar will have his fifth veteran goalkeeper to support him in just five seasons as a professional. Donnarumma has played with Christian Abbiati, Diego Lopez, Marco Storari, Pepe Reina and nwo Asmir Begovic. Each will have taught him something and helped him refine his craft. This may be one of the reasons that Donnarumma will be remembered as one of the great goalkeepers at the end of his career given the astute education and support his received from veterans in his early years. Begovic can teach Donnarumma about managing pressure, covering for defensive errors and one-on-one saves.
Asmir Begovic for Bournemouth in the PL (since Aug 2017):— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 26, 2018
⏺️ 7 errors leading to goal in 41 appearances, more than any other goalkeeper
⏺️ Save success rate 62.9%, second worst (min 25+ apps)
⏺️ WhoScored rating of 6.49, the worst goalkeeper (min 25+ apps) pic.twitter.com/F6TyoNzWAo
Butter Fingers and Slippery Feet
One aspect that Milan fans need to be cautious of is Begovic’s propensity to make terrible errors. He fumbles so often it can be fatal for Milan. He had one of the worst save success rates last season with Bournemouth and received the worst rating for a goalkeeper in the league by whoscored. He conceded 47 goals in 24 league games for Bournemouth averaging just under two goals per game (1.95) whereas the team conceded an average of 1.64 goals when he did not play. Moreover, he directly was responsible for quite a number of goals with fumbles, mis-saves and rebounds. He is also responsible for 7 direct errors leading to a goal in 41 Premier League appearances since 2017.
A Class Act
In his defence, Begovic has struggled since he left Chelsea and he has played for teams with poor defences in the past three years that may have contributed to his troubles. Begovic is a consummate professional who was a solid back up at Chelsea for two seasons and was crucial for Stoke City to develop their cult status. Begovic represents a significant wage relief over the next six months and will be a good support player for Donnarumma. Begovic will be an important cover for the season especially in the Cup and could be thrown into the deep end against either SPAL or Udinese given Donnarumma’s slight injury.
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