Milan moved swiftly to secure their first deal in January with Zlatan Ibrahimovic returning to the club to provide us with a timely lift.
While his comeback wasn’t enough to inspire us to a win over Sampdoria on Monday, the 38-year-old showed enough off the bench in the second half to suggest that he still has life in him yet and can make an important contribution in the coming months.
Fortunately despite slipping up, we made ground on Roma in fourth place after their loss, but it’s vital now that we build on the signing of Ibrahimovic and continue to make smart decisions in the transfer market to improve the squad.
On the basis of some of the speculation surfacing, there is arguably a threat that will not be the case…
Caldara out, defensive signing in?
It’s been nothing short of a nightmare for Mattia Caldara since he joined us in August 2018, as after two serious injuries back-to-back, he has made just two appearances for the senior side.
The wait goes on and on this season to see him return to action, and yet despite being included in the squad, he has not yet been able to get out onto the pitch.
Now, as noted by respected journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, there have been talks over a possible return to Atalanta which would feel like a huge waste of time and effort if we gave such a move the green light.
Having waited almost 18 months to see Caldara try to cement his place in our starting XI, the potential decision from Milan to sell him now would make no sense without first giving him a chance to prove his worth in a Rossoneri shirt.
As per Calciomercato, our top target Jean-Clair Todibo is said to want a future at Barcelona in the long run and so that could force us to look elsewhere for a defensive reinforcement. Perhaps an alternative idea would be to see it through with Caldara, give him a chance alongside Alessio Romagnoli between now and the end of the season and make our assessments and decisions in the summer.
If he breaks down with another injury or looks a shadow of his former self, then an exit would be justifiable. It’s painfully obvious though that if we allowed him to re-join Atalanta now, he would no doubt rediscover his best form in Bergamo and make us rue the decision to let him go.
Don’t lose faith in Piatek yet
Another big decision that seemingly could be made this month is a sale of Krzysztof Piatek, with MilanNews.it noting via Sky Sport Italia that Aston Villa are plotting a €28m+ bid for the Polish international.
Piatek has been dreadful this season, and there is simply no getting away from that. With just four goals in 18 games and three of those being penalties, he has been a major part of our struggles in front of goal.
That said, it wasn’t that long ago that he was being touted as our saviour up front and the second coming of Andriy Shevchenko as he bagged 11 goals in 21 outings following his January switch from Genoa.
A major problem for Milan has been the lack of quality and creativity around our frontman and an understanding with Piatek specifically to get the best out of him on a consistent basis.
At just 24 years of age, he still has his whole career ahead of him, and it could be argued that the focus should be on finding solutions to get him back firing as opposed to deciding to sell him, reshuffle the pack up front yet again and look for another signing.
That or perhaps we’ll just try to play Ibrahimovic until he turns 50.
Similarly to a possible decision to let Caldara leave, allowing Piatek to move on this month would be another questionable call from the Milan hierarchy who are seemingly keen to just keep going round in circles and moving players on who don’t deserve to go, at least not as much as certain other individuals in the current squad who are struggling just as badly, if not more so.