AC Milan have left no stone unturned in their quest to return to former glories; new ownership plus 12 new signings bring forth a new era at the San Siro, where the Rossoneri return to European competition for the first time since 2013/14.
Mateo Musacchio came in from Villarreal for €18 million on May 30 to add some quality to Milan’s backline, but with 45 goals conceded from 38 Serie A matches last term, defence wasn’t exactly their biggest problem.
Statistically speaking, AC Milan had the fifth-best defence in Serie A last season, with only Juventus, AS Roma, Napoli and Atalanta conceding less, but that didn’t stop them from prising away one of the best defenders in world football: Leonardo Bonucci.
The six-time Serie A winner with Juventus arrived for €42 million in one of the most shocking moves of the summer window, bringing a wealth of experience to an AC Milan side who have almost gone from European-place contenders to title challengers with his acquisition.
But it is not just the Italian international who strengthens Milan’s backline; Atalanta’s Andrea Conti joined for €24 million, while Swiss international Ricardo Rodriguez switched over from Wolfsburg in a €15 million deal.
Moving further up the pitch, veteran central midfielder Lucas Biglia came in from Lazio for €17 million, and free-kick wizard Hakan Calhanoglu joined from Bayer Leverkusen for €20 million. Frank Kessie was also brought in from Atalanta for €8 million on a two-year loan deal with the obligation to buy.
AC Milan bolstered their attack with loan deals also featuring obligations to buy for Sunderland’s Fabio Borini and Fiorentina’s Nikola Kalinic, but it was the €38 million purchase of FC Porto’s Andre Silva that caught the attention of fans and media outlets alike.
Keisuke Honda, Andrea Poli, Juraj Kucka, Mattia De Sciglio and Leonel Vangioni were all moved on to accommodate for the influx of essentially an entirely different squad to the one that finished 6th in 2016/17.
Ranking – B
Overall, AC Milan have added legitimate, title-winning quality into the side with Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci, but can the same be said about the rest of their signings?
Andre Silva is an exciting prospect, undoubtedly, but can he deliver under the pressure of an expectant fanbase who will want to see immediate results after a summer where almost €200 million was spent on new players?
The likes of Lucas Biglia, Ricardo Rodriguez and Mateo Musacchio are fantastic additions to the squad and an improvement on last season, but do they make AC Milan any better than some of Serie A’s other title-challenging squads, such as AS Roma or Napoli?
AC Milan’s defence looks their biggest asset heading into the new season, not to mention the victory of keeping Gianluigi Donnarumma at the club after a summer saga involving a possible move to Juventus, but their attack still leaves a lot to be desired.
Nikola Kalinic managed his best effort in Serie A last season – 15 goals from 32 appearances with Fiorentina – but is that enough for a side expecting, surely, a Champions League place? Meanwhile, the signing of Fabio Borini adds little more than depth to the squad, as the Italian has never scored more than seven goals in a league campaign.