Analysis: Why €30m-rated target would be top signing for Milan if deal can be done

Emerson AC Milan transfer news

Milan are reportedly keen on signing Emerson this summer, with the Barcelona co-owned right-back impressing this past season during his stint with Real Betis.

As per Mundo Deportivo, talks have been held between his agent and Milan management, although no agreement has been reached as of yet with the Catalan giants said to be demanding €30m to green light an exit.

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Nevertheless, it’s stressed that Milan are interested and that talks will continue as they try to reduce that asking price, so will it be money well spent if the Rossoneri are able to convince Barcelona to allow him to move to Italy this summer?

Attacking quality, fits style of this Milan

There is no doubt that the right-back position has been problematic for us in recent years, with neither Andrea Conti nor Davide Calabria entirely convincing, and hence  why they have regularly shared a starting berth.

Conti has been unfortunate with injuries since his move from Atalanta, twice having to undergo knee surgery, and so a question mark persist over whether or not either he or Calabria will emerge as a reliable option in that area of the pitch.

Given the report above and Milan’s apparent interest in Emerson, it would suggest that the answer to that question is no, and while there is little sense in having three players competing for the same role, one of that duo could well be moving on if the Brazilian ace were to arrive.

So, just how good is Emerson?

The short answer is, very. The 21-year-old has showcased his talent this past season and has great potential, as he contributed three goals and six assists in 34 games for Betis.

Capped at U20, U23 and now at senior level for Brazil, he has a bright future ahead of him for club and country if he can continue to improve and develop, but importantly his attributes, characteristics and strengths arguably now suit the type of side and the style of play that Milan are trying to implement under Stefano Pioli.

Emerson is tenacious and combative defensively, regularly putting pressure on his opposite number and getting tight to his man to try and dispossess him.

Importantly, he also has great recovery pace if he’s caught out having gone forward, and he has shown his ability to execute excellently-timed tackles to snuff out danger.

Milan are building a hungry, young and vibrant side with Theo Hernandez, Ismael Bennacer and Franck Kessie offering a similar influence off the ball, while Ante Rebic and Samu Castillejo do a great job in the final third to start our defensive work up top.

One of the hallmarks of Pioli’s tactics this season has been to press the opposition higher up the pitch, win possession back and attack quickly in numbers to catch them out. From that perspective, and given what Hernandez offers on the opposite flank, Emerson would be an ideal fit and would give us a balance on the two sides of the pitch.

As seen in the video below, his attacking play is really promising. He has the pace and directness along with the technical quality to beat players, and importantly, he has shown an ability to pick him head up, pick out the right pass in the box to find a teammate and he can certainly strike the ball too.

Lazy comparisons will link him with compatriots who have played in a similar role such as Cafu, Maicon and Dani Alves given the way he defends, his work-rate and his ability to offer a potent attacking threat, but it’s easy to see why Milan are interested as he offers quality in both phases of the game, something the core of our team is now providing all across the pitch.

Time will tell if Milan are able to reach an agreement to sign Emerson ahead of next season, with La Gazzetta dello Sport suggesting that PSV captain Denzel Dumfries could be an alternative option. He’s another top player and a solid solution for us at right-back, but there is a reason why the Rossoneri are seemingly pushing for Emerson and it’s hoped that a compromise can be found to add another possible pillar to the side moving forward.