As Andre Silva hinted this week at a desire to seal a permanent switch to Eintracht Frankfurt, his time as a Milan player could eventually come to a disappointing end in the near future.
As noted by Sky Sports, the Portuguese starlet was signed for an initial fee of €38m from Porto in our free-spending summer transfer window in 2017, emerging as an important investment and a leading face of that particular rebuild.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) June 12, 2017
From the infamous triple handshake with then CEO Marco Fassone and sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli to the praise from compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo, there was a great deal of excitement and intrigue surrounding Silva. Following an impressive stint at Porto where he had scored 24 goals in just 58 games and had seven goals in eight caps for Portugal, could he step up and be a long-term fix and prolific goalscorer for us?
In short, the answer appeared to be no. While he managed eight goals in 14 Europa League games including in the qualifying rounds, he scored just two goals in 24 Serie A appearances.
Both of which were important and game-winners, and while he did show flashes of his quality in the final third and in front of goal, it was all too inconsistent as he struggled to have a sustained positive impact and his role became increasingly limited.
Given he was just 21 when he joined us and had to adapt to a new league, culture, squad and coach, it was always going to be difficult for him to immediately settle and showcase his full potential.
That in turn is why it could be argued that despite his disappointing debut campaign, perhaps he needed a second season to really settle and to start to show his worth to secure his position in the Milan squad in the coming years.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Silva was shipped out on loan to Sevilla for the 2018/19 campaign, scoring 11 goals in 40 outings with injuries disrupting his progress after an impressive start to life in Spain.
Fast forward 12 months, Silva was back at Milan but could he get a fresh opportunity under Marco Giampaolo? It was another no. The Portuguese international joined Eintracht Frankfurt on a two-year loan deal and has since scored eight goals in 23 games for the Bundesliga outfit.
As noted by MilanNews, he suggested this week that there are many reasons which could convince him to stay in Germany, and so perhaps that signals his intention to call time on his spell with Milan and to try to secure a permanent switch in 2021.
“They treat me well here. I like the city, the fans and the Bundesliga. There are therefore many reasons that push me to stay.”
Whether it was a gamble which didn’t pay off or Milan quitting on young players too soon, a number of talents have endured a frustrating spell at the club in recent years before having to move on. While Silva hasn’t necessarily made us regret the decision to ship him out on back-to-back loan moves, that €38m outlay continues to look like an expensive mistake given his limited impact in a Milan shirt.
Especially if the intention isn’t for him to return a more mature, proven and well-rounded player to have a future with us, it looks like what was once a hugely promising addition to the squad could end up with both parties looking back on a disappointing failed stint if he doesn’t return next summer.