There was a time where Associazione Calcio Milano was the strongest team in the world bar none. Sadly within the past five of so years the team has gotten older and not enough has been invested in the future of the club.
More recently the sales of Kaka and Yoann Gourcuff without replacements has caused some to feel that Milan will struggle next season. However, there is a realistic way to make the club strong again.
1) Clear the Team of "Dead-weight"
Over the past few years AC Milan has started to look more like a retirement home instead of a football club. There are far too many players that are not pulling their weight anymore, and they should be sold or if that isn't an option, released. This would help the club get younger, while also reducing the wages paid.
Here are some of those players:
Dida- In his prime he was a solid GK. However at the present, his cost does not justify what he can do for us on the field and how often he would potentially play. We could get a cheaper, younger, talented GK that could take over the number two spot and eventually start for Milan.
Kakha Kaladze- Another player that helped us very much in his prime, but in the last year or two his play has really tailed off. He has been wildly inconsistent and he will be solid in one game and a horror show in the next.
He looked horrible in the Derby against Inter. He could be replaced by a younger, much cheaper player that could offer more from the bench than Kaladze.
Zeljko Kalac- Much like Dida, Kalac is a GK past his prime. He didn't look particularly good when he was forced into action this past season, he looks somewhat sluggish. Rumor has it that Parma are interested in him, and if Milan could make 1-3 million Euros, that would help the team get younger.
Giuseppe Favalli- How he was offered a contract extension is beyond me. He was 37 this past season, and he looked slow when he was featured on defense. There are a plethora of young talented players that could take his place on the squad that would represent an upgrade.
Massimo Oddo- Lets be honest here, he is another player that is not what he once was. His pace is not what it once was and he is not as good when defending. There are other options that make much more sense, both for the quality of play, and the wage they would be paid.
2) Purchase New Players That Can Contribute This Year and in the Future
Now that the deadweight on the team has been removed, they must be replaced. The talent that is bought should be able to come in and contribute this year, but they need to do more than just that. These players need to be part of the core of new Milan, and will help the team to be competitive for years to come.
Hernandes- He is one of the most talented young Brazilian midfielders to come along in a very long time. He has the ability and talent to play at any position in the midfield. Has every tool needed to become a superstar.
Some people have said that if he is bought, Pirlo must be sold. This is simply not true. In the long run however, Hernandes is more that capable of taking his spot. He is only 24 and has many strong years ahead of him. He should cost between 10 and 15 million Euros.
Andrea Consigli- Was the first choice keeper for the Italian U-21 team. Has the talent to be Milan’s second choice keeper this season and he has the ability to eventually replace Abbiati as the first choice in the cage.
Alessandro Rosina- This 25 year old was Torino’s captain last season. He is one of the most gifted trequistas on the peninsula. He will be looking to join a big team after Torino’s relegation this past season, and he can be purchased for between 5 and 10 million Euros.
Klaas-Jan Huntlaar- Simply put, “the Hunter” is one of the best "No. 9” type strikers in world. Has the ability to score with both feet and his head, and he has one of the highest goal per game averages of any striker in the fame today.
Although he has been criticized for not playing well since making the switch to Real Madrid last season, he still managed to score eight times in 20 games, which is not bad at all.
He would be a perfect partner in crime for Alex Pato for many years to come. He would cost between 17 and 20 million, and should be well worth it (note: if Edin Dzeko somehow becomes available, he is the player that should be bought).
There is quite a bit of young talent on this team, however it can be extremely difficult to break into a top-flight team as a young player. These are some of Milan’s young players that should be loaned out to gain experience this season. They all have the potential to contribute in the future.
Matteo Darmian (already has been loaned out)- A talented young centerback, Matteo has served as the captain of the Italian U-19 team. He still gives the ball away more easily than he should, but he is only 19 years old, and he has a lot of time to realize his considerable potential.
Mathais Cardacio- Uruguayan player that has been compared by some to Andrea Pirlo. He is good enough to be a solid player down the road, but a year on loan could do wonders for his development as a player.
Tabare Vidudez- One of the more talented young players on the team. Tabare is another Uruguayan, and he has flashed the talent needed to become a star attacking midfielder. Like all the other players on this list he could be a star, but spending a year away from the San Siro would be beneficial for him.
Rodney Strasser- A great talent that Milan discovered in Sierra Leone. He is a bull of a defensive midfielder, but unfortunately for him at this time, Milan has such players as Gattuso and Ambrosini at this position.
He can’t learn as much on the bench as he could on the field, so if he can be loaned for a year, he could eventually be Gattuso’s replacement down the road.
4) Use Some Players that are Currently Backups
Daniele Bonera- Bonera is a player that has never fully realized his potential. This year he could be the top backup centerback. If he can actually live up to his promise, he could take over from Nesta when he finally hangs up the boots.
Luca Antonini- Is a very similar player to Jankulovski, but he has better pace, is a slightly better defender, and is 6 years younger. He would help Milan’s backline look less sluggish and he would also be of great help in the counter attack, as he is very skilled at pushing up.
Michelangelo Albertazzi- Is the gem of Milan’s youth system. Is one of the all around most talented young defenders in the whole of Italy. He started over Inter starlet Davide Santon for the Italy U-19s, and we all know what kind of success he had last season when he was given a chance.
Albertazzi is able to play all four positions, and he should be a very solid sub off the bench this season. Could very well be a future superstar.
5) The Starters
--Gattuso (VC)—Pirlo--- Flamini
This starting 11 should be able to make a strong dent in Europe this season. Pato is on the verge of becoming a world class superstar, and if he is properly supported, Milan will do well. Very well.
6) The Backups
--Ambrosini (C)—Hernandes--- Seedorf
This backup team would be stronger than a number of Serie A squads. This would give Leonardo a plethora of options of the bench depending on whom he wants to use, and it has a ideal blend of experience and potential.
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