Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic – the two walls on either side of the pitch for the Diavolo. But judging by the course of events in the past few hours, these two walls of steel might soon be razor-ed by the sharpness of money thrown at Berlusconi by the Qataris who seem to mint a million as each second passes!
Quoting Mino Raola – the super-agent :
“Ibrahimovic to Paris Saint-Germain? We are as close [to reaching an agreement] as China is to the United States of America,” Raiola stated to Sportmediaset. It’s not a done deal. You guys in Italy are making up a lot of things. An agreement is very far away. PSG have to realise that they’re signing the best with Zlatan. “
But the boss, Silvio Berlusconi finally broke the suspense by claiming – “”It is true that I have sold them to Paris Saint-Germain,”
If the duo indeed move to the Parc Des Princes, where would it leave the Rossoneri?
Since the departure of Paolo Maldini and the fall of Nesta, Milan never had the quality in defense – as shown by some dismal showings in the 2009-10 campaign. With the onset of the 2010-11 season, Milan finally found their new leader in defense. The Brazilian put on some stellar showings during the course of the season, marking the center forward and covering for the much maligned left back on many occasions, with utmost diligence.
Kaka‘s Milan was a frightening prospect to deal with. The forward line of that era sent chills down the spine of the opposition. Kaka twisting and turning, Gilardino finishing the move with aplomb. But with the sale of Gilardino to Fiorentina and the big money move of Kaka to Madrid, Milan’s frontline looked short on inspiration, devoid of ideas and blunt as lead for much of a forgettable 2009-10 campaign. Galliani moved quickly, and secured the signing of Catenaccio’s adopted son – Zlatan Ibrahimovic to replenish Milan’s attack.
Leader in attack, leader in defense and a decent midfield to complement the two – Milan’s jersey would finally have the Scudetto engraved after a long wait.
But with the release of no less than 6 players, and the proposed sale of the duo, Milan are in shambles before the start of the season. So what should the management do to bring back the Diavolo to parity with the best?
1) Sign carefully -
With the apparent sale of the two most influential, and arguably the best players of the squad set to leave the San Siro, Galliani & Co. must invest and invest properly – in the best talents available in the market. If the proposed double deal does happen, then Galliani & Co. will have the uphill task of having large boots to fill, with limited resources. So, who will replace the duo? Watch this space in the future.
2) Invest economically -
The major push factor behind this shocking deal has been the precarious state of finances at Lombardy. For sometime now, Milan have been been saddled by the debt factor which has previously led to the downfall of many great institutions. Since the sale of Kaka, it has been pretty evident that Milan no longer hold the cards in terms of competing financially with the other big clubs of the world. And this factor makes the task herculian. Will Galliani pull a rabbit out of the hat as he has done previously in the past?
3)Don’t go overboard -
Down the years, a small chunk in Uncle Fester’s armor has been the slight tilt towards buying players who are ‘past their prime’ and are no longer fit to play week-in, week-out at the highest level, and players who are just not good enough to wear the Diavolo jersey.Some prime examples of players who fit into this category are – Mario Yepes, Nicola Legrottaglie, Djaniel Mesbah, Massimo Oddo, Guiseppe Favalli et al. So, if Galliani has to create a new Milan, he surely has to rectify this area of his dealings.
My opinion on the new-look Milan
The first thing to be kept in mind while finding a replacement to Silva is his pace, and superior reading of the game coupled with an astute sense of positioning. Many a time has he covered for the ‘out-of-position’ left back, and at the same time, marked the opposition Center forward with diligence.
So, what Milan would require is – a PACY Center-back firstly(keeping in mind that Mexes too is pretty slow for all his worth), and secondly – a good reader of the game. My ideal choice to replace Silva would be Daniel Agger. An astute sense of positioning, decent pace and the ability to bring the ball out of defence make him the ideal candidate to replace Silva.
Secondly, when we talk about Milan of present, the first name that comes to mind is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The talisman from Sweden makes Milan tick. Be it scoring or making others score, Ibra does it all. So replacing the heart-beat of a team becomes all the more difficult, and if there was liberalism in this regard, I would certainly have Edison Cavani as his replacement. There is probably no doubting the fact that Cavani is the among the best if not the Best forwards of Serie A at this moment, and having amassed considerable experience at the San Paolo, the time is about right for El Matador to take the step forward.
Though both the deals have not officially taken place as of now, fans might soon be in for the misery of seeing their stars leave for greener pastures (if leading journalists and papers are to be believed.) And who better than Adriano Galliani to douse this fire. But, will he be able to do it for one last time? Will Milan be competitive in the bracket of the top teams, IF these two leave the San Siro.
If history is anything to go by, a Milan fan could point his finger to 31st August 2002, (the daywhen Alessandro Nesta was brought in) and say – ‘yes, Galliani will help us out.’
Watch this space. The summer has just begun.