GdS: Bennacer, Krunic, Tonali, Messias – Milan’s eye for the relegated players

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan have decided to take a gamble of sorts in recent windows by signing players from clubs that have just been relegated.

La Gazzetta dello Sport recalls how there was Rade Krunic and Ismael Bennacer who joined from Empoli in 2019, Sandro Tonali from Brescia in summer 2020 and Junior Messias from Crotone last year.

Bennacer and Krunic were the first to arrive, both signed in 2019 after an excellent season with Empoli. The Algerian cost €16m while the Bosnian cost €8m. Bennacer has become a crucial box-to-box midfielder under Pioli’s orders while Krunic is very much a wild card given he has played as a winger, playmaker, midfielder and even as a full-back.

Tonali meanwhile came on loan with option to buy from Brescia two summers ago, and this season he has 5 goals in the league, including a brace against Hellas Verona on Sunday. In the end the Rossoneri negotiations the price of his option to buy down to about €20m, and this year he has only missed two games, showing his importance.

Finally, Messias – who used to play part-time and had a job as a delivery driver a few years back – came on a loan with option deal from Crotone last summer on deadline day. He has had some difficulties in adapting this season but has 6 goals. To buy him, €5m must be paid to Crotone but age (31), costs and performance level ‘are tipping the scales towards no’.

Tags AC Milan Ismaël Bennacer Junior Messias Rade Krunic Sandro Tonali


  1. 3 out of 4 success rate in this type of operation is a very good success rate. And not spending too much money as well.

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