According to the Mundo Deportivo, Spanish defender, Laia Codina, will head to AC Milan on loan for the season.
The defender will join the Rossonere on loan from FC Barcelona, who are her parent club. The move is only a loan, as Barça will bring her back for the 2022/2023 season. The team intends to bring her back into the fold, as they theorize that she will be vital for them during that year.
Though the team intends to bring her back, Codina has yet to sign a renewal with them. Her contract with the Blaugranes will expire in 2022. The hope is that she’ll be able to sign an extension with Barça before heading out on loan.
Mundo Deportivo states that Codina chose Milan for several different reasons. The first is that the team will allow her to compete on three different fronts, both domestically with Serie A Femminile and the Coppa Italia, and in Europe with the Champions League. This will give her the experience she’ll need to grow as a player.
She also chose Milan due to the team’s prestige and history, as the thought of playing for the storied club appealed to her. It’s proof that, despite Milan’s woes over the years, the team’s name still means something. The fact that Vero Boquete plays for the team will also help, as her fellow Spaniard can help Laia make the transition from Spain to Italy when she joins them.
Laia also wants to play for Spain in the Women’s Euros in 2022. Laia is expected to play a ‘prominent’ role for Milan, who will give her the space she needs to thrive. The defender wants to impress La Roja’s coach, Jorge Vilda, in hopes of being selected to play for the team in England. Codina won’t have the playing time she needs at Barcelona, as the team recently signed Irene Paredes. Paredes is considered to be one of the best centre-backs in the world and is expected to form a strong partnership with Mapi León at Barça.
If Laia were to stay with them, then she would spend most of her time on the bench. At Barça, she would be their fourth-choice defender, whereas at Milan, she would be a starter. Hence why a loan to the Rossonere has been facilitated.
Codina is only 21-years-old, and yet she has a wealth of experience for her age. The defender was instrumental in Barça’s treble-winning season. Laia helped them win La Liga, the Copa de la Reina, and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Codina is a talented defender and is considered the crown jewel of the La Masia academy. She is a strong and physical centre-back, who reads the game well. She also has good anticipation of her opponent’s moves, is mobile, and is a great tackler. And since she played for Barcelona, it’s also no surprise that she’s technically gifted and is an excellent passer of the ball. Her loan is quite the coup for the Rossonere, as it means that they’ll have one of the most promising and talented defenders in the world playing for them.
Having her at Milan would not only make the defense even stronger but lend prestige to the team’s project. Laia’s signing shows that the team can attract top-level talent, which is further proof that Milan are serious about growing their women’s team. The team is building a competitive squad that will compete for titles, and Codina is the type of signing that will help the team do this.
It is also worth noting that Laia had similar offers from Bordeaux and Bayern Munich to join their teams. In the end, she chose AC Milan. And if that doesn’t make you feel good, then I don’t know what will.
Codina’s signing, coupled with her pairing up with veteran defenders Laura Agard, Laura Fusetti, and Linda Tucceri Cimini, will give Milan a very strong backline. Add to this the fact that they’ll be fortified by Laura Giuliani in-between the posts, and Milan might just have the strongest defense in the league next season. It is a tantalizing prospect and will make the team serious title contenders this year.
Mundo Deportivo also reports that Codina should be in Milan to complete her medical by next Wednesday. Her unveiling for the team should follow shortly afterward.
The Rossonere are currently training in preparation for their upcoming friendlies and Champions League qualifiers. If Laia joins Milan, then it will bring them one step closer to Europe.
So for now, keep an eye on the situation and once Laia is unveiled for the team, then be prepared to get very, very excited.