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Asmir Begovic Medicals Complete: Here’s a Look at what the Seasoned Goalkeeper Brings To AC Milan

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Milan have switched from an expensive back up to a cheap alternative for the next six months. Here’s what to expect from the former Stoke City and Chelsea keeper:

AFC Bournemouth Training Session Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

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.

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.

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.

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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