While there is an obvious need for Milan to strengthen the midfield this summer, there is an important decision ahead on which transfer target is the ideal addition.
With the season wrapped up it’s all about possible signings for now as Milan look to enjoy some success next season. While we wait for another year to get underway, why not get tips on how to become a high roller and keep yourself busy with top games and slots in the next few weeks.
As noted by MilanNews, it has been reported that Empoli youngster Samuele Ricci is on our transfer radar and talks could now pick up after his season with the Serie B outfit came to an end.
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Countless names have been linked with the Rossoneri, which is to be expected at this time of the year, but ultimately the 18-year-old could be a smart signing for a number of crucial reasons.
Quality depth needed, long-term solution with real value
Ismael Bennacer and Franck Kessie have firmly cemented their places in the starting line-up in the double pivot in front of the defence with Stefano Pioli settling on a 4-2-3-1 system that has brought brilliant results.
The pair have not only excelled individually, but they have forged a solid partnership and it was without doubt one of the fundamental factors behind our improved form following the restart.
Pioli will arguably want to avoid disrupting that balance moving forward, and aged 22 and 23 respectively, the hope is that they continue to improve and develop as they gain more experience and maturity, and we could essentially build around them moving forward.
However, with Lucas Biglia leaving this summer as his contract comes to an end while Rade Krunic didn’t have the best of debut campaigns with us, there is an obvious need for quality depth to allow Milan and Pioli to rotate and be confident in the options that step in.
Should we qualify for the Europa League group stage, we could play in over 50 games next season as we look to compete for trophies, and so while Bennacer and Kessie are now the clear starters, we need options off the bench to allow them to rest at times too.
That is ultimately where Ricci comes in. The 18-year-old made 30 appearances this past season, gaining invaluable experience and he has certainly improved his all-round game.
While he’s not ready to come in and be an immediate starter, he has all the characteristics needed to suit Pioli’s preferred style of play and replicating what Bennacer and Kessie offer in that department.
As detailed in an analysis piece on the youngster, he is tenacious, combative, has a great work ethic and has technical quality to play his part in possession too, and that ability to transition from defence to attack quickly with accurate, vertical passes through the lines has been a hallmark of our play since the restart.
Ricci has shown that he’s capable of doing that for Empoli this season, and when you consider he’ll likely cost much less than some of the other names being linked with us coupled with his relatively low wages given he’s still so young, there is a strong argument in favour in going for him this summer.
Bennacer and Kessie have to be our first-choice midfield pairing moving forward. In turn, we don’t need to splash out a big fee on another midfielder, while Ricci gives us another long-term option who will be ready to step in and put serious pressure on his teammates in the coming years if he joins, or perhaps if they move on for whatever reason.
Milan have other issues to address this summer away from midfield, and so it’s hoped we spend sensibly and bring in three of four quality new additions in key areas. Ricci ticks a lot of the right boxes, he won’t be a huge hit to our budget and he’s a smart fit for the squad that Pioli is building.