Scouting Milan Target Radja Nainngolan

Matteo Bonetti@@TheCalcioGuyContributor IDecember 26, 2013

CAGLIARI, ITALY - DECEMBER 21: Radja Nainggolan in action during the Serie A match between Cagliari Calcio and SSC Napoli at Stadio Sant'Elia on December 21, 2013 in Cagliari, Italy.  (Photo by Enrico Locci/Getty Images)
Enrico Locci/Getty Images

Milan have shown heavy interest in Cagliari midfielder Radja Nainggolan, as per Football-Italia. Nainggolan would be reunited with his former coach Massimiliano Allegri who knows him well from their time together in Sardinia.

It seems that the Rossoneri have formed a decent partnership with Cagliari, as they've exchanged players as well as coaches in the past few years.

Allegri has already shown loyalty with former players after signing Alessandro Matri this past Summer. Unfortunately, the move turned out to be an abomination with Matri hardly even managing to get on the pitch lately.

The 25-year-old Nainggolan is a high-energy midfielder who would give Milan depth at a position that is one of their main weaknesses. Sulley Muntari and Antonio Nocerino are the ones that would essentially be his primary competition for a starting spot, but neither have been convincing. 

Nocerino looks to be on his way out this January transfer window while Muntari is too much of a liability with his erratic temperament, leaving the door wide open for Nainggolan to make his mark if he joins.

ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 27:  Pereirinha (L) of SS Lazio competes for the ball with Radja Nainggolan of Cagliari Calcio during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and Cagliari Calcio at Stadio Olimpico on October 27, 2013 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Brun
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

His versatility makes him perfect for Allegri's 4-3-3 formation, where he plays as a side midfielder in a position known in Italy as the mezz'ala. Very industrious in the center of the park, Nainggolan has a modest skill-set but is a good tackler and can shut down an opposing playmaker if needed.

He won't make those surging runs and score fantastic goals, but will assist in the link-up play and be one of those types of players that coaches love for their heart-bursting energy. Over the past three seasons, Radja has only scored five goals, and has picked up 27 yellow cards—the silver lining being that he has never been red-carded, impressive for a player of this type.

Nainggolan with one of his signature slides in a match against Milan
Nainggolan with one of his signature slides in a match against MilanClaudio Villa/Getty Images

If the move does go through, expect the Belgian international to play on the left side of the three-man midfield, alongside Nigel De Jong and Riccardo Montolivo. 

As the website Who Scored shows, Nainggolan will play very simple passes and offer unyielding defense, constantly pressuring the opposition.

Nainggolan is in the prime of his career, and will still need to show how he converts his usefulness at the next level. Having never played in any European competition means he's still inexperienced on the world stage, however he has been used sparingly by the Belgian national team.

In the end, this isn't the type of move that truly elevates Milan to the next level. It does, however, give them more depth in an area of need and Nainggolan could prove to be an upgrade over the likes of Antonio Nocerino or even Sulley Muntari.