Speculation has been rife for weeks now that Milan are eager to sign both Jordan Veretout and Ismael Bennacer from Fiorentina and Empoli respectively.
Particularly in the case of the Frenchman, it seems as though rumours of a switch to San Siro have been ongoing for some time, and yet the situation continues to rumble on.
With regards to Bennacer, MilanNews.it noted, via Corriere della Sera, that issues arose in discussions over personal terms, and yet Milan have persevered and remained patient to continue to edge towards making a double signing when many have perhaps argued and wondered why we haven’t moved on and considered alternative options.
As noted by Gianluca Di Marzio, those issues have been overcome and an announcement could be imminent, with Fabrizio Romano adding in his tweet below that the deal could cost Milan around €17m.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 4, 2019
Meanwhile, La Gazzetta dello Sport note that Milan’s offer for Veretout has been increased to €18m, and so they could be prepared to splash out around €35m in total on two crucial signings.
Why are signings of Veretout and Bennacer so important?
Meeting after meeting and updates from various journalists and outlets have ensured that the Veretout and Bennacer pursuits have dragged on and been public knowledge for weeks.
Some may raise doubts over the quality of the duo and whether they’re really worth it, but what’s important to remember here is that the club haven’t given up and that would suggest that the midfield pair are evidently vital to Giampaolo’s plans for Milan.
Considering the characteristics of Veretout and Bennacer, it’s not difficult to see why.
Off the ball, the pair have displayed energy, tenacity and an ability to press the opposition into mistakes to regain possession in midfield and spark attacks. Snappy in the tackle and with the legs to get around the pitch, they will be vital with their contribution in the defensive phase of the game to provide a solid foundation.
However, the key for Giampaolo is to couple that with the technical quality, vision, passing range and skill on the ball to ensure that when we have possession, we have midfielders capable of building up play and breaking between the lines to cause sides problems.
Veretout and Bennacer possess those attributes between them as well as many others, and they know the league well too making it less of a gamble in terms of adaptability.
Whether it’s Lucas Biglia or Franck Kessie, they do one side of the game very well, but ultimately we looked hopeless at times last season when trying to break down well-organised sides who defended deep and in numbers.
With an ability to dictate the tempo of the game and keep possession ticking over, Veretout and Bennacer, coupled with the likes of Hakan Calhanoglu, Giacomo Bonaventura and Rade Krunic in a midfield three with Lucas Paqueta perhaps playing in front of them in the No.10 role, it will lead to composed, compact and well drilled passing passages.
We’ve seen how important, and impressive, that has been for Giampaolo at Sampdoria last season, and it’s actually refreshing to see a coach and management know the exact players needed for the job and have faith in their decisions and instincts to continue pressing until there is a breakthrough.
Admittedly they are perhaps slightly underwhelming potential signings, but it’s not about buying the big names for Giampaolo, it’s about assembling an XI capable of playing his brand of football and regaining an attacking and expansive identity in our play, while always trying to respect FFP too as we simply don’t have big money signings in our reach right now.
Time will tell if deals get over the line and whether or not they’re a success for us, but as we’ve already seen this summer with the official signings of Krunic and Theo Hernandez, it’s about trusting the management and our new coach and believing that his ideas for the squad and the culture he’s trying to create at Milan are the right ones.