…5 Players AC Milan Should Sign in the Upcoming January Transfer Window.
AC Milan are a club with a history as rich as any side in Europe, yet find themselves eating their panettone 11th in the league, with half the points their rivals and table-toppers Inter have accrued.
Following the summer of 2017, which saw the club part ways with more than £175m in one transfer window, Milan have swapped the short-lived and somewhat murky ownership of Li Yonghong for a straight-edged and ruthless existence under the umbrella of Elliott Management Corporation.
While fans will want to avoid the aimless signings of the past, the side is in desperate need of improvement if they wish to even attempt to fulfil any ambitions of European football next season.
Ozan Kabak (Centre-Back)
Milan went into the Christmas break still smarting from their heaviest defeat since 1998 as the Rossoneri were demolished by a ruthless Atalanta side 5-0. Their captain and centre-back
Alessio Romagnoli has been crying out for a capable defensive partner since his arrival in 2015.
The 19-year-old Ozan Kabak could prove to be a viable candidate for the role if Milan are able to prise him away from Schalke in January. The Turkish international may have only joined the Bundesliga side this summer, but a move to Italy has been reported despite his recent run in the side.
Chimy Ávila (Winger)
Zlatan Ibrahimović’s arrival in Milan may have thrilled fans but relying upon a 38-year-old to transform your attacking output could spell disaster come the end of the campaign.
One of the most damning statistics to have come out of Milan’s season so far is the fact that their left-back, Theo Hernández, is the only player in their roster to have scored more than two non-penalty league goals this campaign.
A former January transfer, Krzysztof Piatek, has well and truly had his hot streak of last season extinguished, with a single goal from open play so far. With eight goals already this campaign, Osasuna’s Chimy Ávila would be an excellent fit for a number of positions along the Milan front line – accomplished in both a role on the left wing and through the middle.
The diminutive Argentinian has racked up 18 goals in 18 months of top flight Spanish football since August 2018 at two unfancied sides; Huesca and Osasuna. With the likes of Suso, Franck Kessié and Lucas Paquetá feeding balls into Ávila’s feet, one can imagine his output would only increase.
Daniele Rugani (Centre-Back)
When Maurizio Sarri joined Juventus Daniele Rugani must have expected his fortunes at Juventus to change. During their final season at Empoli together, Sarri saw that Rugani played in every minute of the league campaign.
However, this has not been the case. Despite being a prodigious talent, Rugani has been awarded a single league appearance all season, and with the arrival of Merih Demiral in the summer, it looks like playing time for 25-year-old will be even harder to come by.
This is not the first time Milan and Juventus have exchanged central defenders in recent years, with Leonardo Bonucci crossing the divide twice in two summers. Nevertheless, should Milan snap up the promising defender, it would certainly be considered a coup.
Leon Bailey (Winger)
Milan are currently on their second manager of the season, and should results fail to improve, you would have to be brave to predict Stefano Pioli to be their last appointment of the campaign. However, Pioli’s predecessor, Marco Giampaolo, can be blamed for their absence of a true left winger.
Giampaolo was poached from Sampdoria in the summer and with him came not only a good reputation, but a formation imperative to his approach, 4-1-2-1-2. This strategy requires two strikers and a classic trequartista (number ten) but has little use for wingers. So, when Milan came into the season without a recognised player in this position no one was worried.
Fast-forward six weeks and they’re 16th in the table with six points on the board. Ten days later and Giampaolo is out the door along with his precious 4-1-2-1-2. And so, Milan find themselves playing Rafael Leão shunted out wide, performing admirably for a 20-year-old in a new league, but ultimately out of position.
Leon Bailey has made the left flank his own over the past few seasons in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen. The 22-year-old Jamaican may be inconsistent, but his speed and directness is sorely lacking from the Milan front line and given his age, signing Bailey would be a smart investment for the future.
Nordi Mukiele (Right-Back)
Zenit St. Petersburg v RB Leipzig: Group G – UEFA Champions League
Nordi Mukiele is a player any club would love to have on their books. Despite standing at 6’2, the France Under-21 international has a remarkable burst of pace and ease with the ball at his feet. Mukiele has shown himself to be adept when fielded as a right-back or a centre-half in a back-three.
At only 22-years-old, the defender’s talent is frightening and should RB Leipzig be foolish enough to part ways with him, Milan would be gaining a gem. Given Mukiele’s versatility, he could not only cover for the injury-prone full-back, Andrea Conti, but also play as Romagnoli’s partner in the centre of defence