In 2016/17 the break out club was undoubtedly AS Monaco, with their exciting young talent and attacking flair. With a number of their high profile players such as Bernardo Silva moving on, it may be hard for them to better or match their fantastic 2016/17 season. So who will be the break out club of 2017/18? This is the beginning of a weekly series brought to you by Sideline View and first up is AC Milan.
AC Milan and indeed the other Milan side, Inter have seen a drastic decline in form in the past few years and the teams that were once pillars of the modern game have fallen.
Both Milan clubs have seen heavy foreign investment so far this transfer window. AC Milan already have a very strong, young core and they are seeking to build on that.
Chief Executive Marco Fassone and former Sunderland Chief Scout, Massimo Mirabelli, the new Director of Sport, have had a busy last few months as Yonghong Li completed his takeover of AC Milan from legendary owner Silvio Berlusconi. They’ve signed 4 new players covering 4 key positions for almost €100m.
Mateo Musacchio, an Argentine centre back and part of one of the best defenses in La Liga last year. Ricardo Rodriguez, the left back who seemed perennially linked with Europe’s top clubs. Franck Kessie, one of the most exciting midfield prospects in Serie A. Andre Silva, one of the most Europe’s most promising young strikers, described as a young Pauleta.
They also seem to be very interested in securing the signature of one, Diego Costa. Add this to the very exciting young core they have, which is made up of Manuel Locatelli, Alessio Romagnoli, Mario Pasalic and Suso, and you have a recipe for success. Despite the potential loss of the already influential, ‘keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, AC Milan still have a very strong, very young team that are more than capable of rising up to the heights they once hit. On the Donnarumma note, it seems that he might actually choose to stay at the San Siro after reportedly being charmed by Milan CEO Fassone over the past few days and is now ready to reconsider.
Other than a new Goalkeeper, high on the list of priorities for AC Milan now is a winger, a deep lying playmaker as Montolivo career winds down and a right back. In right back, they’ve identified Conti from Atalanta who has just had a very good season and they’re very close to signing him, expect that to be done soon. In the role of a deep lying playmaker, they’ve identified Lucas Biglia from Lazio. It’s unlikely that they’ll sign Deulofeu but they are also heavily linked with James Rodriguez and he would be the perfect jewel in the crown to add a bit of stardust to the line up.
While they may not challenge for the title next year, anything less than Champions League is a disappointment for this very young, very exciting AC Milan side.
This is how they could line up next season:
What we’ve seen with the signings they’ve made in recent times is that they’ve stepped away from going for players who might come in and score 30 goals in a season and immediately thrust the club back into the limelight. Instead they’re going for players who over the next 5 years give them a solid foundation to build on. There is momentum building within the Milan club and this season might just see it start to build up a head of steam. Keep your eyes on this one.