Stine Hovland and Nora Heroum have officially left AC Milan.
Heroum made her formal announcement on Instagram on June 2nd, before posting it on Twitter.
Heroum’s departure had been in the works for a while. Her announcement also came as no surprise to those who were paying attention to the news surrounding the team.
However, it caught many others by surprise. Despite this, the reaction to the news was the same: we’re sad to see her go.
There are several reasons behind her departure. The main reason for it seemed to be that she didn’t live up to expectations.
Nora’s versatility was both a blessing and a curse for her. Her ductility meant that she was shuffled between the attack, midfield, and defense. Heroum is thought to be one of those players who can be a jolly (a player who can play in multiple positions). However, she also seemed to suffer in any position that didn’t involve being a midfielder.
She seemed to function best as a mezzala and suffered in any other role that didn’t involve her being in the midfield.
The team had to find this out through a series of trials and errors. In the end, it seemed like the team couldn’t figure out what to do with her, and so it was determined that she was no longer in their plans.
This is perhaps what led to her farewell, as she did not sign a renewal with the team. She will be plying her trade elsewhere next season, and her most likely destination will be a team in England.
‘A Smile and Fire’
During her two-year tenure at Milan, Nora became a fan-favorite among the Rossoneri faithful. The player was known for being cordial with her fans, as she possessed affable charm and ineffable charisma.
She also functioned as a de facto leader of the group, as she would often organize activities for the Rossonere so that they could bond outside of training.
The midfielder has played a total of 35 matches for Milan and has scored a total of two goals. She also started a total of seven games for the Rossonere last season, which made her one of the most consistent presences for the team. Heroum also put in the work, as she won a total of 12.4% of Milan’s defensive duels in the midfield.
Through her heart, determination, and endearing charm Nora managed to win over the hearts of the Milanisti as we were proud to call her one of our own. We will miss her a lot. Here’s to hoping she can spend her time abroad improving as a player (and maybe come back to Milan someday? Please?)
‘I feel it’s time for me to move on’
Stine Hovland also announced her departure from Milan on Instagram.
I feel it’s time for me to move on, so my time with AC Milan has come to an end.
I want to thank the whole club and my teammates for making my year in Italy a great one. I also want to thank our fantastic fans, who have been supporting us every day.
Now it’s time for new adventures, and making new chapters, and I wish everyone good luck for the next season.
The defender has played a total of 15 official matches for Milan and has scored two goals for the team. It is not known where she will head next, but there are rumors that PSG have been courting her.
Hovland is a tall and technical defender and was considered one of Milan’s best performers last season. The Norwegian’s time in Milan was memorable in other ways, most notably with how she recounted what life was like in Italy during the height of the coronavirus crisis.
Stine’s words provided valuable insight into what life was like in the country during the peninsula’s nine-week lockdown. And when she rejoiced at the end of the lockdown, we all rejoiced alongside her.
It was that sense of joy that she managed to maintain during the most bleak circumstances, along with how she gave her all for the team that endear the Milanisti to her.
Like Heroum, she too will be missed.
God’s Plan (Or at least, Milan’s)
While the amount of departures from the AC Milan Women might seem alarming, this is, in fact, actually the norm for Serie A Femminile. Since the league is not professional, there are no professional contracts that would tie the players down for a few years.
Instead, the contracts are more like ‘economic agreements’ that last for only one year. And once the year ends, the players are free to leave if they don’t sign a renewal.
Fiorentina, Milan’s closest competitors in recent years, have lost quite a few players as well. Most notably, they lost their captain, Alia Guagni, who will now spend the next three years in Spain playing for Atlético Madrid.
Milan have released a total of ten players so far this window. The players are Pamela Begič, Francesca Zanzi, Sandra Žigić, Marta Carissimi, Nora Heroum, Stine Hovland, Mónica Mendes, Raffaella Manieri, and Lady Andrade. Midfielder Mia Bellucci is also said to be leaving the squad, and her move will be confirmed within the upcoming days.
With the exception of Hovland, the players who are being let go are players who didn’t play very many games for Milan, or who simply didn’t live up to expectations. The current squad is being dismantled. However, this is not a cause for alarm, as this is being done with the intent to rebuild the squad by improving it with better players.
The Rossonere have also renewed some of the members of the current roster. Francesca Vitale and Deborah Salvatori Rinaldi have both been renewed. The plan is to build the team around a core group of players like them, and to build a strong team that can qualify for the Champions League, and maybe even make a run for the Scudetto too.
The trick is to wait to see how the entire plan will come together. Keep in mind that Milan lost a core group of starters last season (including midfielder Thaisa), and still managed to create a squad that finished in a respectable second place. They narrowly missed out on the Champions League due to goal difference, and the hope is that they can do one better this time around.
With this being said, it’s still perfectly okay to feel sad that Stine and Nora have left us.
Nora was a personal favorite of mine and recall that I once signed up to a Finnish website so I could read an article that was hidden behind a paywall. I also (
bribed) paid a Finnish friend $18 to translate an article into English for me.
The two of them will most definitely be missed, and we wish them the best of luck at their next destinations.
In the meanwhile, listen to a bunch of sad R&B songs along with me and vicariously release your emotions through them.
Godspeed Stine and Nora. And may we see you again someday.