AC Milan are expected to have zero Italian players in their starting line-up for their Serie A opener against Bologna on Monday night, but how did this become a possibility?
This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) has a double page spread titled ‘Milan internazionale’ which makes note of the fact that the Rossoneri are likely to have a fully foreign starting XI against Bologna due to Davide Calabria’s fitness problems.
Milan’s Italian influence has been on the decline for some time though and at the end of the summer transfer window there will be just five Azzurri players left in the squad, the lowest quota ever recorded.
Last year there were six, in 2021-22 they were nine and the year before that – in the 2020-21 season – the number was eight. But Why are the Diavolo choosing to almost always go abroad to buy players?
The first reason is because it’s economically convenient. As an example, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tijjani Reijnders combined cost as much as Davide Frattesi at Inter, while they can also take advantage of the Growth Decree.
The second reason is that the Rossoneri are betting on the European experience of even quite young players. This is so Pioli has a squad with an international feel; one that is more athletic, aggressive and physical.