AC Milan have been in a state of limbo for nearly a decade now. The Rossoneri have not participated in the Champions League since 2014 and seem to go through complete team overhauls after every season.
This, of course, is not working. With no lasting foundation, Milan basically ‘rebuild’ every summer and expect everything to be solved in one season. That, however, is not a reality in professional football. Rebuilding a club of Milan’s European stature is a process. Solid purchases this past summer perhaps show glimpses of a better future. To ensure this, here are three sales Milan must avoid in this coming transfer window.
Three Sales AC Milan Must Avoid
Gianluigi Donnarumma – AC Milan Number One
This won’t be easy. Gianluigi Donnarumma is one of the greatest young goalkeeping prospects of the last decade and is arguably already the top goalkeeper in Italy. It’s easy to forget he’s only 21-years-old as his professionalism and experience exceed that of peers in his age group.
Every team wants a talent like him, and Donnarumma should have already seen a Champions League debut. With the UEFA European Championships postponed to next summer, the Italian may want to make a bigger name for himself around Europe.
With that being said, Donnarumma has shown signs of loyalty to Milan. If Milan were a Champions League side, this wouldn’t be a discussion. Donnarumma would solely leave due to a professional decision, and nothing in regard to disdain towards the club. If Milan can manage to have the finance books balanced, then they need to prioritise keeping their biggest building block for the next decade.
Donnarumma has all the tools to become a true superstar in the game.
Ismaël Bennacer – Midfield Heartbeat
The purchase of Ismaël Bennacer last summer was a shrewd one that barely made football headlines. The Algerian international, however, has become not only Milan’s best midfielder, but one of the most consistent midfielders in all of Italy. He showed signs of this at Empoli last season but solidified his standing this season.
As a matter of fact, Real Madrid Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modrić recently said that Bennacer was one of his favourite footballers in Serie A. That’s high praise coming from one of the most talented footballers of the last generation. That same praise, however, is shared by many other football clubs, such as Manchester United.
Bennacer isn’t going to score several goals or endlessly supply assists. His production goes a lot further than simple statistics. He’s the heartbeat of the team’s midfield and has done a splendid job with little help. Milan must focus on building a midfield around him now.
Theo Hernández – The New Maldini?
The former Madrid youngster has dazzled in his first season with Milan. Like Bennacer, Theo Hernández was a very shrewd pick up by Milan last summer. His lighting pace, relentless energy, passion for his team, and an uncanny knack for goalscoring from a defender would be welcomed by any team. In fact, it’s no surprise that Paris Saint-Germain are interested in his services already.
Milan must avoid any big money temptation. They’ve struggled mightily at left-back since Paolo Maldini’s playing days ended, and finally found an already reliable player who has still yet realised his full potential.
As a defender, Hernández does actually need to improve in defence. But, his attacking skill for a fullback is nearly on par with the best. He can surely become one of the best at his position in the very near future.