To kick off our new segment ‘Rossoneri Nation Squads,’ we will begin with a country that gave Milan a pretty average mix of players, Argentina. The South America country has given a number of big players to the Rossoneri but more often than not, players arrived with lots of hype but struggled to make an impact as desired. The likes of Biglia, Higuain and Redondo all came to the club as established players but failed to make an impact despite their quality. I picked a 4-4-2 formation for the Argentina nationals to accommodate for two strong central midfielder and two centre forwards available. The only close call was Jose Sosa vs Lucas Ocampos but I picked Sosa because he fits better into the formation and contributed more in his shirt spell. The players on this squad won the 1999 Scudetto, 2003 Champions League, the 2003 Coppa Italia and the 2017 Supercoppa Italiana.
RB: Leonel Vangioni (2016-2017) [15 Appearances]
Vangioni featured for Milan as a LB at a time when the club was frustrated by de Sciglio and arrived with a significant amount of hype. But once he began to play, the shortcomings were evident. He lacked pace and was too easily beaten by wingers. I have placed him at RB to make room for others defenders on the squad. His one season at the club was not noteworthy but he still makes the squad.
CB: Matteo Musacchio (2017-Present) [73 Appearances]
Musacchio has been a truly average player. He has done anything hugely wrong but also has not done anything of note. He partnered Alessio Romagnoli well enough and provided some short term reprieve but is too error prone to be considered a good CB. He joined Milan in a difficult period and did his best but was never shown enough respect by the club often being tossed aside for the likes of Bonucci in 2017 and Kjaer in 2020.
CB: Roberto Ayala (1998-00) [35 Appearances]
Ayala joined Milan prior to his famous stint at Valencia but the centre back barely managed any playing time given the depth of the defenders at Milan at the time. He did play an important rotational role for the club when they won the Scudetto in 1998-99. His performances at Milan set him up for a major move to Valencia where he truly shone as a centre back but Milan was simply a launching pad for the renowned CB.
LB: Jose Chamot (1999-03) [75 Appearances]
Chamot joined Milan after stints with Lazio and Atlético Madrid where he was brought in to add some depth to the left back spot after the exit of Francesco Coco. Chamot played as a backup all across the defensive line and managed to lift a Champions League and Coppa Italia trophy without making any significant impact in a season where he played 4 games.
RM: Jose Sosa (2016-17) [19 Appearances]
Sosa featured as a regista or a mezzalla for his one season with the Rossoneri. He often played to rest or replace Manuel Locatelli that season. He was expected to add a dimension to Milan's play by adding some creative passing to the centre of the midfield over Locatelli's bland possession but Sosa struggled for consistency and for influence. He was often overrun and could not cement his spot.
CM: Lucas Biglia (2017-Present) [63 Appearances]
Biglia was a hugely disappointing move because his arrival was expected to end the reign of Montolivo and fix up the central midfield after his insane spell at Lazio. But alas it was not meant to be, plagued by injuries he quickly lost his place and struggled to make an impact. He has played three seasons but has been kept on the bench by Bakayoko and Bennacer over the past two years.
CM: Fernando Redondo (2000-04) [33 Appearances]
Redondo joined Milan under a cloud of uncertainty as the player did not seem to want the move, he was a legend at Real Madrid and a fan favourite at the time. He joined to bring his incredible vision to the middle of the park but suffered a devastating injury at one of his first training sessions that kept him on the sidelines for over 2 years before returning to the pitch in 2002 where he managed to play some games including 180 minutes across the Coppa Italia finals against AS Roma in 2003 that Milan won.
LM: Guly (1998-01) [78 Appearances]
Guly was largely a rotation midfielder across his years with Milan. He was able to play as both an RM and LM making his an important depth player. The one season where he somewhat held down the starting spot was the title winning season of 1998-99 where he scored 4 league goals on the way to the Scudetto. He was looking to be a regular starter at the end of his first season but a plague of injuries hampered his progress and he fizzled out.
ST: Gonzalo Higuain (2018-19) [22 Appearances]
Higuain joined Milan in the summer of 2018 and was expected to finally put an end to the no. 9 woes but the Juventus man was not up for the challenge. Higuain looks angry and frustrated throughout his short spell and pounced at the first opportunity to leave the club after just 6 months. In that time, he did manage to score 8 goals and provide 3 assists but most notably get a red card against his old team Juve.
ST: Hernan Crespo (2004-05) [40 Appearances]
Crespo was loaned to Milan to make space for Drogba at Chelsea but went on to have a monster season with the Rossoneri where he scored 18 goals including a brace in the Champions League final where Milan lost to Liverpool in Istanbul. He supplemented Shevchenko well and was a mercurial striker for the club. He would return to Chelsea at the end of the season but definitely left a mark at the club.
Honourable Mention: Maxi Lopez for his flashes of brilliance in the 2011-12 season.
Team Strengths: Hugely compatible centre backs, dynamic central midfielders and extremely potent strike force.
Team Weaknesses: Lack of creativity in the midfield, vulnerable full backs and potential isolation of the target striker.
Team Rating: 4.5/10 for their time at Milan. 7/10 for their career peak.
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