AC Milan Transfer: 10 Summer Replacements for Mark Van Bommel
The Dutchman is on the wrong side of 30 and Milan could allow him to leave on a Bosman with his contract expiring in several months.
Massimo Ambrosini is getting older. Gennaro Gattuso’s Milan career could end due to myasthenia (though he has stated he’ll play for free).
So it’s more than likely that Massimiliano Allegri will buy a defensive midfielder in the summer.
Here are 10 possible signings who could be Milan’s new defensive midfielder for the 2012-13 season.
Luca Cigarini, Centre Midfielder, Atalanta (on Loan from Napoli)
As a 20-year-old for Parma, Luca Cigarini looked like a seasoned professional, but five years on he’s yet to develop into an elite midfielder.
Perhaps he was an early bloomer.
He doesn’t have a future at Napoli with Gökhan Inler and Walter Gargano the main central midfielders. Cigarini probably wouldn’t even beat out Blerim Džemaili for the back-up position.
Cigarini is playing quite well for Atalanta, making 3.2 tackles per game and he’s comfortable in possession.
Potentially AC Milan could revolutionise his career like they did with Antonio Nocerino.
Përparim Hetemaj, Centre Midfielder, Chievo
Përparim Hetemaj is a fearless tackler and has formed a reasonably solid triumvirate in midfield with Luciano and Michael Bradley.
Mohamed Diamé, Defensive Midfielder, Wigan Athletic
Mohamed Diamé can tackle, pass and is hard to tackle when he charges forward—essentially a poor man’s Yaya Touré.
If Wigan Athletic get relegated, Milan should take a chance with Diamé because he’s going to come cheap.
At just 24 years of age, he could develop into a solid midfielder.
Philipp Bargfrede, Defensive Midfielder, Werder Bremen
Philipp Bargfrede runs himself into the ground and is such a selfless team player.
Even though he tends to play simple passes, give him space and he’ll accurately send in a long diagonal ball. He completes 70 percent of long passes.
Etienne Capoue, Defensive Midfielder, Toulouse
Etienne Capoue is a physically impressive midfielder who can also play at centre-back.
He's strong in the tackle, reads the game relatively well but needs to improve his passing. He’s giving the ball away 267 times this season.
Just to give you an idea of how important he is to Toulouse and how fit he is, he’s only been subbed off twice in two years.
Alejandro Faurlín, Centre Midfielder, Queens Park Rangers
By tearing an anterior cruciate ligament, Alejandro Faurlín’s first-rate season was ended abruptly.
Not only is Faurlín a better tackler than Shaun Derry, but also a better passer.
The Argentine created 29 shots for his teammates whilst running around like a mad man making tackles all over the place.
Javi Fuego, Defensive Midfielder, Rayo Vallecano
Javi Fuego is the only player in one of Europe’s elite leagues who averages a combined 13 tackles and interceptions per game.
The only other player close to Fuego is Jérémy Toulalan, who wins back possession 10 times per game.
Radja Nainggolan, Defensive Midfielder, Cagliari
Radja Nainggolan seems to welcome the lactic acid because he never stops running
Nainggolan can spread the play with some lovely angled passes whilst maintaining an 80-85 percent completion rate.
Riccardo Montolivo, Centre Midfielder, Fiorentina
You could make the argument that Riccardo Montolivo isn’t even one of Fiorentina’s top two players.
In my eyes, he’s behind the world-class Stevan Jovetić and tackle-happy Valon Behrami.
Considering that Montolivo will run down his contract, it seems natural for AC Milan to sign him for free, like they did with Mark van Bommel
Montolivo would play the regista role solidly for Massimiliano Allegri.
Yann M'Vila, Defensive Midfielder, Rennes
Close your eyes and imagine an AC Milan midfield of Yann M'Vila, Antonio Nocerino, Alberto Aquilani and Kevin-Prince Boateng.
I’ve yet to see M'Vila play a bad game because he is Mr. Reliable week in, week out. High concentration levels, great motor, underrated passer and an intelligent footballer.
What I mean by underrated passer is people who don’t watch him in a game just say he can only make simple passes judging off an outdated YouTube video.
Watch him in a game and you’ll see him thread some fantastic through balls and send diagonal long passes in a Paul Scholes-esq fashion.
Unlike Scholes, M'Vila can tackle, he can intercept and he can jockey if needed.
Frédéric Antonetti, the manager of Rennes, perfectly summed up M'Vila: "He reads the game like Claude Makélélé, has the presence of Patrick Vieira and can pass the ball like Yaya Touré.''
The major barrier to this transfer is Rennes knows they have a future world-class midfielder, so they will try to inflate his transfer fee and AC Milan won't even bother.
Please read Most Forgotten Superstars XI.
Follow me @ http://twitter.com/allanjiangLIVE.