For some, Milan’s transfer window has been relatively underwhelming thus far, with Theo Hernandez and Rade Krunic confirmed arrivals while Ismael Bennacer is set to follow.
As noted by Gianluca Di Marzio, the Rossoneri have been given a clear path to sign the Empoli midfielder this summer, in a deal said to be worth €16m. Calciomercato have suggested that it could total €18m including bonuses, while Bennacer will earn €1.5m-a-season over five years.
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If that wasn’t enough to be assured that a deal will be completed, MilanNews.it add that the 21-year-old is expected in Milan early next week, and will undergo his medical and sign his new contract to officially confirm his switch to join us.
While it’s never a done deal until the player has put pen to paper on his contract, it’s fair to say that the general consensus in the media is that Bennacer is set to become a Milan player this summer.
He’ll arrive as an Africa Cup of Nations winner after Algeria secured the trophy in Cairo on Friday night, while Bennacer was also named the Player of the Tournament as he continued to impress throughout.
The talented midfield ace appears to be going from strength to strength after impressing for Empoli last season, and if we’re considering potential future sale value, there is little doubt that his stock will continue to rise, which in turn will also likely result in his valuation increasing and a healthy profit.
However, that’s not what we want to consider as fans, as ultimately the priority is seeing him flourish in a Milan shirt and playing his part in Marco Giampaolo’s side next season to ensure that it’s a successful campaign.
Bennacer a dream signing for Giampaolo
With that in mind, there is growing confidence that he will be a success, should he arrive as expected, as he has all the characteristics to fit in perfectly under the new Milan boss and he may just turn out to be a real bargain.
As seen in various clips during the tournament this summer, while many may have noticed his class in Serie A last season, Bennacer has so many quality attributes that could make him a pivotal figure for the Rossoneri moving forward and allow him to emerge as an instant fans’ favourite.
Capable of playing either as a regista or in a slightly more advanced role in midfield, he has the defensive qualities to offer protection to the backline. That comes through his tenacity, energy and tireless work ethic as he is constantly hounding the opposition and putting pressure on them to make mistakes.
That will be crucial for Giampaolo, as he likes his side to press and squeeze the opponents to regain possession and impose their game on them.
Further, Bennacer has technical quality, the tactical mind to break lines, the vision and passing range to make him a potentially crucial creative hub in the heart of the midfield. With Giampaolo’s preference for a more expansive and attacking style of play which relies on dominating possession, Bennacer looks capable of slipping straight into the mix.
There’s a sense when watching him that although smaller in stature, he could bring the positives that Tiemoue Bakayoko offered last season, but he can go beyond our ex-loanee’s limitations by building attacks and by keeping Milan ticking over in midfield to create openings and dictate the tempo of the game.
While he bagged a couple of assists at the AFCON, the statistics don’t tell the whole story as his bursting runs from midfield coupled with his clever movement on and off the ball to create openings for his teammates all contributed to why he was named the best player at the tournament.
Bennacer will have to prove that he can deliver at the highest level and can cope with a new level of pressure on his shoulders. However, the talent simply can’t be questioned as he possesses quality in abundance and has now shown that for club and country.
It’s hoped that Milan can wrap up the formalities next week with minimal fuss, as while we may have missed out on a string of touted midfield targets this summer, we may well end up securing the best of the bunch and at a bargain price which the management should be commended for if they get it over the line.
Ismaël Bennacer Vs Senegal pic.twitter.com/6gg4VKahkg
— BNS Comps (@BnsComps) July 19, 2019
Ismaël Bennacer Vs Nigeria pic.twitter.com/3cefnpUC0D
— BNS Comps (@BnsComps) July 14, 2019
Ismaël Bennacer Vs Guinea pic.twitter.com/SDnSTKbpEt
— BNS Comps (@BnsComps) July 7, 2019