Ajax are playing some of the best football in Europe at the moment. They’re in the Champions League semi-finals and first place in the Eredivisie. With all this being said, the reality of their situation will be similar to AS Monaco in 2017 – they will see a mass exodus of players this summer.
The major Ajax targets for football’s top clubs remain Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, and Hakim Ziyech. David Neres, however, has performed his way onto the list. The young Brazilian winger plays with immense flair and finesse, and his recent Champions League performances have teams sold. This summer is the time for AC Milan to pounce.
David Neres is Perfect For AC Milan
Making the Difference
The Rossoneri have been lacking strong wing play for several years now. Suso has the ability to decide a game on his own, but it has been a common theme for him to disappear late in the season. He will likely remain a starter due to natural talent, but he needs a complementary winger.
Hakan Calhanoglu mans the left-wing regularly. Although he has grown into the role, the wing is not his natural position. The Turkish international is best deployed as an attacking midfielder, something that Milan’s conventional 4-3-3 formation does not necessarily call for. Lucas Paqueta has taken the reins as Milan’s creative midfielder, and Giacomo Bonaventura‘s return from injury next season may make Calhanoglu expendable.
Milan are also in desperate need of pace on the wing. Their counter-attacking abilities over the last couple seasons have been subpar. Suso and Calhanoglu have strong technical abilities but simply lack speed. Due to this, many counter-attacking opportunities have turned into hopeful crosses into the box as opposed to sprints at goal.
When watching Milan, one will be quick to notice their over-reliance on Krzysztof Piatek at striker. The team feeds him with long balls and expect him to make something out of nothing. Piatek is a rising star in football, but there is no doubt that he needs help. David Neres, with his speed and technical abilities, will see Piatek continue to flourish.
Fit For David Neres
Neres has proven himself this season, and will surely be looking for a larger stage in football. Ajax are a prestigious club with history and trophies to back up their reputation, but they do not have the financial capabilities to remain a top dog anymore.
Milan are slowly on their way back to the big stage that Neres is likely searching for. The club still holds a major place in football, and look to be back on their way to the Champions League. Five points out of a possible 18 in their last six matches have definitely hurt Milan, but favourable results from other clubs still see them holding onto fourth place in Italy.
Youth has also been a focal point in Milan’s latest project. Starters such as Gianluigi Donnarumma, Davide Calabria, Alessio Romagnoli, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Franck Kessie, Paqueta and Piatek are all 24-years-old or younger. Neres is just 22-years-old.
Neres’ statistics are also impressive. This season he has accumulated 11 goals and ten assists with a passing completion percentage of over 84%. He would easily slot into Milan’s left-wing spot.
Everything will depend on Neres’ price, which is surely rising. UOL Esporte out of Brazil recently reported Milan’s interest, even after he seeming to command a €50 million price tag.
Milan will also be favoured due to Leonardo Araújo’s influence. The team’s sporting director is Brazilian and played a large role in convincing fellow countryman Paqueta in joining Milan over the likes of Paris Saint-Germain. Neres will have plenty of options, but Milan may be the best place for him to remain a starter and continue to grow.