AC Milan’s strategy when it comes to the transfer market has often been to invest in young talent that is perhaps veering on the unknown, and then wait to reap the rewards.
As this morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) reports, Malick Thiaw has become the ‘symbolic operation’ for RedBird Capital’s Milan and the philosophy that they want to embrace.
Gerry Cardinale fired Paolo Maldini as technical director within 48 hours after the final game of last season and put the summer mercato in the hands of CEO Giorgio Furlani and chief scout Geoffrey Moncada for various reasons, but their vision is one of them.
Maldini and Ricky Massara were actually hoping to sign three more experienced Serie A performers in Marko Arnautovic (who went to Inter) for the striker role, Domenico Berardi for the right wing (who remained at Sassuolo) and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic for the midfield (who went to Saudi Arabia).
This is not in line with RedBird’s strategy, who instead prefer operations like the Thiaw one. He was identified by Moncada and his scouting group, signed by Maldini and Massara, then finally launched by Pioli after months of testing.
Milan paid €8.5m to sign him from Schalke 04 and now he is worth €25m as per the paper, and he promises to grow further. He has become an established starter this year for Pioli and will be a point of certainty in the derby, not bad for someone who in 2022 was the last option among the central defenders.