Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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AC Milan Poised to Return to the Pinnacle of European Football

AC Milan are one of the world’s biggest and most successful clubs. With seven European Cups, they are the second most successful side in the Champions League’s history.

However, they have recently fallen away from football’s summit quite spectacularly and have not been in the Champions League since 2014. In fact, they haven’t even been in European competition since then. For a club of Milan’s size, this is a worrying slump.

Things haven’t gone much better domestically either, they haven’t won the title since 2011 and have fallen miles behind Juventus who have won the last six Italian titles.

However, things are starting to look brighter. Milan’s new Chinese owners have been clear that they want Milan back to the top sooner rather than later. They have put their money where their mouth is, signing several high-profile players and backing their manager, Vincenzo Montella.

We look at three reasons why Milan will soon return to the top of the Italian and European games.

Up and Coming Young Stars:

Milan used to be known for their academy, bringing through stars like Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta.

However, in recent years, they have been unable to produce stars of that level, with players such as Mbaye Niang and Marco Borriello having good but far from spectacular careers in a Milan shirt.

We have recently seen some up-and-coming new youngsters reach the first team. None more talented than Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who looks astoundingly mature despite being only 18 years old.

He is currently locked in a contract battle with the club. At first, it seemed he wanted to leave the Rossoneri; however, his stance appears to have softened, and they may well be able to keep him. He is one of the most talented young players in the world, and many see him as the heir to Buffon, so they must fight to keep him.

Alongside him are players like defender Alessio Romagnoli and midfielder Manuel Locatelli who are giving Milan fans something to get excited about.

It has always been important for Milan to have local players who have been brought up learning about Milan’s history and their need to win trophies. These players fight for the shirt and have given Milan the edge that they have been sorely lacking since 2011.

Shrewd Signings

In addition to these exciting young players, Milan acted early in the transfer market to bring in active players in key positions. They have strengthened the defence with star left-back Ricardo Rodriguez and centre-back Mateo Musacchio coming in from Wolfsburg and Villarreal, respectively.

They have added dynamism to midfield with Atalanta’s Frank Kessie, and their signing of Porto star Andre Silva will give them more bite up front. Milan’s great teams have always had big stars brought in from other clubs.

Players like Kaka, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Andriy Shevchenko helped to take Milan to the highest level, and the new owners will hope their new signings can do the same.

More recently, ESPN and the Metro have linked them to Emil Forsberg, RB Leipzig’s assist machine, and Chelsea’s Diego Costa. They will be in an excellent position if they can add these two players.

Vincenzo Montella

Milan’s manager, Vincenzo Montella, is only 42 and is still learning and growing, but he is already showing promise and has been slowly and steadily improving Milan.

Last season, he got them into the Europa League at the expense of Inter’s cross-town rivals, which means they will play European football next season for the first time in three years.

Milan’s owners will ensure stability and calm by sticking with their man rather than making a change. Montella is clearly well-liked, and giving a manager proper time usually brings good results.

Montella has obvious challenges to deal with, not least the Donnarumma situation, but if he can keep his side together and integrate their new signings, then he can be the man to retake Milan to the top of the European game.

Their fans have had little to cheer about in recent years but good times seem to be on the horizon for the Rossoneri, and other sides in Serie A will be nervously looking over their shoulders.

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