Jonathan Biabiany posed with a Milan scarf seconds before his medical with the club and fans were prepared to welcome the new signing. A heart condition was discovered and Milan had to turn to their plan B.
In the dying hours on the final day of Summer Mercato 2014 Adriano Galliani pulled off one of his final great signings with Giacomo “Jack” Bonaventura.
Knowing there was not much time left, Milan turned to a team in the same Lombardy region and made a heavy offer of seven million euros. Atalanta accepted and Jack was quickly on his way.
Bonaventura was slated for a move to rivals Inter Milan that same day but some issues in the deal saw the move called off and, in a twist of fate Inter took Jonathan Biabiany instead.
Giacomo had finished a good, but not great season with Atalanta and had already featured in their season opening fixture, but was determined to blossom in the Rossoneri shirt.
Milan wrongfully assumed their worst season was behind them, coming off an eighth-place finish in the previous season. Giacomo was set to endure one of the toughest campaigns in the Berlusconi era.
Rookie coach and club icon Pippo Inzaghi could only muster a tenth place finish with the squad but not without some brilliant performances by former center forward, Jeremy Menez and newcomer Bonaventura.
While Menez was the star of the show for the 2014-2015 season, Giacomo Bonaventura was a very close second. scoring seven goals in the campaign as well as one in his debut against Parma in a fantastic game that saw Milan win 5-4.
Playing on the wing, Milan received four assists from Giacomo to compliment his seven goals.
Enter Sinisa Mihajlovic. The new Gaffer had a different idea of how to use this uncovered gem and decided to throw him behind the two strikers and test his ability as a trequartista.
Throughout the course of the season, three main formations were used. The 4312, the 442, and the 433. Jack showed his versatility by playing in a multitude of positions.
In the 4312 he began as the trequartista, then shifted to the midfield. While in the 433 he was apart of the attacking trident and returned in the left wing position. During the 442 Jack continued on the left but fell back further as the left mid.
This season saw Bonaventura truly shine, doubling his assist tally to eight for the season while scoring only one less goal from the year prior yet only playing in the trident for six games.
The Bonaventura coming out party of last year earned him our highest player ranking by Who Scored for three categories. Overall, Offensive, and Passing.
On the ball, Jack is second to none at Milan. With the most successful dribbles per game and overall last season, not even the young and talented M’baye Niang can rival his skill.
The lead striker at AC Milan is Carlos Bacca. A pure number nine and owner of the 2016 season’s only first round hat trick. Carlos Bacca was the only man to tally more goals last season than Giacomo Bonaventura.
As all players are, Giacomo is not without shortcomings. While prolific, this can be attributed to the large amount of shots taken and upon further investigation show how poor his finishing can be.
Taking thirty shots more than anyone else last season at 104 and only finding the back of the net six times does not give a pretty conversion ratio. To pile onto that, most of the shots were unnecessary shots from outside the box that almost exclusively went into the stands.
Finally, in the limelight Jack decided to trade in the number 28 and pick up the number five kit. A new number, another new coach at Milan, and a new season ahead of him.
Under Vincenzo Montella, Giacomo is almost exclusively a central midfield player. Personally, I think this is right where we need him most. Playing the 4-3-3 formation once again only this time with capable wingers, Niang and Suso, to compliment the lone striker Bacca.
The one part of AC Milan that has lacked over the past few seasons has been the midfield, with Bonaventura in the center we finally have the creative link up needed to move the ball forward and not stagnant from side to side.
Jack is excellent with the ball at his feet, he excels at drawing and winning fouls and he is an assist machine. Having the two technically gifted wingers accenting Bacca’s plays opens up the possibility for a Giacomo assist, which is something I personally expect to see plenty of this year.
Bonaventura was directly involved in just below one-third of the total goal tally for the previous season, do not be surprised when he is at the core of even more this year.
“A new number, another new coach at Milan, and a new season ahead of him.”
Milan have kicked off the current season with a running start, one game, and one win. Against Torino, Giacomo featured in the midfield for seventy-three minutes, winning three fouls and dribbling past one player handily.
Bonaventura was the highest rated midfielder for the game and was quite obviously the heartbeat of the team. Almost immediately after he was substituted off the field things went south for the Rossoneri.
The star-turned player is fully prepared to make another splash in the Serie A this year. Giacomo Bonaventura is the needed catalyst to the Milan machine. AC Milan have truly found something special in their plan B player turned hero.