Giudice: Milan used ‘Moneyball’ in the summer but not to fish for ‘unknown players’

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan did use a ‘Moneyball’ strategy during the summer window but not in the sense of fishing for players who are unknowns, a report claims.

Through an in-depth analysis for the Corriere dello Sport (via Radio Rossonera), Alessandro Giudice carefully studied AC Milan ‘s summer transfer market by addressing the notion that there was a heavy cost-based analysis involvement.

He writes that the Moneyball strategy is ‘not equivalent (as some thought) to fishing for unknown players, just because they were selected by a computer algorithm’ and instead what it refers to in Milan’s case is ‘maximising the expected performance for every euro invested’.

The Rossoneri management through their team of data analysts and scouts are able to use ‘statistical methods’ and sort through players with an added variable (the economic one) to the algorithm, so as to ‘maximise the return for shareholders’.

Of course, it goes without saying as well that the ‘economic return depends on the club’s ability to win’ and increase its standing on the competitive scene.

Giudice adds that Milan ‘have focused above all on players with one year remaining before their contract with their respective clubs expires’ which is ‘a circumstance which has certainly improved the negotiating position’ for Milan.

Tags AC Milan


  1. Intelligent people making Intelligent decisions. Furlani and Moncada are a great team and they are working with Pioli to give him the right players for Pioli’s system unlike the previous management team who wanted to do their own thing.

    I was happy when it was announced that Maldini and Massara were leaving. Because I wasn’t pleased with the players they signed in their last mercato and also the players we were linked with apart from Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Smh

    1. You do realize that basically all players who has joined us this summer has been rumored to ac milan in recent years before maldini left the club ?

      chukwueze even has been mentioned early in the spring this year,

      Sportiello was also aquirred while maldini was still at the club

      The only players that i dont think has been named as targets for what i know is musah, pellegrino and romero but not 100% sure about the last one,

      1. I didn’t hear of Reinjders as well as Pellegrino,.Musah and Romero but yes all of the other targets we got were from Maldini and Massara’s time here from what I can recall

        1. I think reijnders was mentioned in february or march but not 100% sure but i do recall the link at least but might also have been towartds the end of last summers mercato..

      2. so why was last summer such a big fail?

        Oh sorry you will now say someone forced Maldini to sign CDK instead of a freaking DM

        Summer long chase for freaking Renato Sanches

        1. if that reply is for me then i can only say stop twisting what i said because what i pointed out is facts while your comment is just you assuming stuff.

    2. You do realize that Maldini personally convinced Maignan whom Pioli had asked the GK coach to monitor for several months, don’t you?

      You do realize that Moncada scouted CDK for years and helped Maldini to complete the transfer, don’t you?

      You do realize that last summer Pioli said Maldini had brought him what he asked, don’t you?

      Despite what those so called journalist speculate, triple M and Pioli had been working in unison all these years. The real reason Maldini was sacked (according to Scaloni) is because Milan no longer need him to attract players due to recent sporting success.

      1. Those so called journalists are not insider, they just speculate. On the other hand, Scaroni is the club president, he is insider who often spill the bean.

        1. Surprisingly I agree with you Yelnats. But these conversations never reach to these positions as they tend to put out the other Maldini hate first lol. I also think Maldini could have handled either Kessie or Donnarumma situation better (Chalha was a snake, we had the agreement in place before Ericksen got a heart attack) by selling earlier but then you get into what ifs. And it could be the case that we’d never win the Scudetto and now not going for the second star. These things tend to get brushed off easily in discussions. I also didnt like the lethargicness of the way they went about transfers. And also that they tended to rely on their old school thinking rather than the bold new analytics approach. The problem I have is that both approaches have their merits and now one is missing in the discussions. It means there no checks and balance and it can go really well or really badly I’d prefer if Maldini remained as a technical consultant or something in relation to the defence where he himself said he was good at.

      2. If it was just so called journalists speculating why did Pioli refuse to use the players that Maldini brought him last summer?
        If they worked in unison why was their most expensive player used out of position?

        “Where do I start? From the fact that all of us, and I in particular, have always had excellent relations with Paolo Maldini, who is a gentleman, a person attached to Milan and who has done well for Milan,” he said.

        However, we follow a bit of an innovative model, at least for Italy, for club management. We work in a team. It is an organisational model that is very dear to our shareholder [Cardinale] who, let us remember, is a sports specialist who boasts success in his activities.

        “When he suggests something to us we pay great attention, because we think it brings innovations. IN THIS ORGANISATION, WE HAD THE IMPRESSION THAT PAOLO FELT UNCOMFORTABLE, AND WHEN ONE IS UNCOMFORTABLE IT IS BETTER TO PART WAYS.”

        Unison you said?

        1. And then they had dinner afterwards expressing their esteem for each other ??? Ok, lol 😂

          “WE had the impression…” He assumed Maldini felt a way, but we haven’t heard from Maldini if this was the case. Scaroni has a way with words but if you read what he says carefully he basically is covering his own as$ and turned the narrative on to Maldini (we don’t know yet if this is true but everyone is lapping it up).
          Don’t be like the so-called journalists as Yelnats mentioned and froget the additional context or leave out crucial quotes:

          Scaroni also said (on Maldini’s weight on negotiating with transfer targets) “This is very true and I am very grateful to him. I have to say that today, and it is not to sound ungrateful, we need it less. Milan having come out of the management of Yonghong Li was struggling to attract talent…Milan – who won the Scudetto and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League – are more attractive.””

          Well if that ain’t ungrateful sheesh. It’s like when people start by saying “I’m not a bigot but…” And then say something bigoted right after. Smh. I’m not ungrateful but….

          This is the most “thank you for helping us when we were at our lowest and didn’t know what to do to get out of this hole, but now that you’ve helped us back on our feet, you’re no longer needed. See you later sucker.” That’s the real reason he was sacked

          1. So when the same person Scaroni says something positive about Maldini, it’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but if it’s something negative or something that hurts Maldini fans feelings then Scaroni has a way with words, he is ungrateful or it’s a media spin paid by Cardinale to paint a bad picture about Maldini. 😆
            Yelnats said that all 4 people worked in unison and i was responding to that. Well the way Pioli used the players that they gave him and the amount of minutes he gave them paints a totally different picture.
            All that other stuff about Maldini attracting players had nothing to do with the conversation.
            No one ever said that Maldini didn’t contribute at all, but to say that he was working in unison with the rest of the group it’s just not true and it came straight from Scaroni’s mouth, the clubs President. From the same person that yelnats said it was the clubs insider, and he knew what he was talking about unlike the journalists who just speculate.
            Everyone should have someone in their lives that will defend them, like Maldini fans defend Maldini.

          2. Not playing them much? You should look at the reason behind them, lets take a look at each player signing from last summer mercato:
            CDK 》 already explained at my other comment. He actually has 1480 minutes, comparable to Leao’s first season (1475 minutes), one might argue Pioli gave him to much minutes considering his minimum contribution.
            Messias 》 clearly played too much by Pioli.
            Florenzi 》 was mostly sidelined by injury.
            Dest 》 was merely an emergency loan due to Florenzi injury, he was destined to play little in the first place as he is backup to Calabria and third option when Florenzi is fit.
            Thiaw 》 ended up making the first team.
            Vranckx 》 was loaned as 5th midfielder to replace the outgoing Bakayoko but the latter ended up staying. You don’t expect 5th/6th midfielder to play much, do you?
            Origi 》 was signed as backup to Giroud. Pioli played him too much considering he had more than 1000 minutes with minimum contribution.

          3. I should add that removing Maldini is a rational decision.

            The previous management (led by Maldini) and the current management work in different era. Each era need different approach, Cardinale know this hence why he want the change. We can see this as title drought era vs post-title era as well as pandemic era vs post-pandemic era:
            • Title Drought Era vs Post-Title Era
            During the title drought, Milan struggle to attract players so Milan need a figure that can attract players such as Maldini (sometimes, his presence can even make new players reduce salary demand). He was the right man for that era, but as that era had ended by the 19th scudetto and Milan can already attract players, he can be replaced by someone who can do better in transfet negotiation.
            • Pandemic Era vs Post-Pandemic Era
            During pandemic era, most team struggled financially so there is less chance to sell players at good price (example: no offer for $umma or Kessie even when both are in last year of contract which means they are at the cheapest state). However, after the pandemic ended, teams start to recover financially and spend more money. It present an opportunity for Milan to sell star players in long term contract to get big transfer fund that can be reinvested but it require someone who is willing to sell star players in long term contract (such as Tonali). Is Maldini the right man for that? Definitely not, he is not going to sell Tonali, he want Milan to act like a big team as in his golden era when stars coming to Milan instead of leaving, when Milan is not bullied by players/agents. However, Milan has not reach that state, we can reach that state back in few years when Cardinale succeed in building the stadium and developing the brand.

            Maldini is the right man during title drought + pandemic era but he is not the right man in post-title + post-pandemic era.

        2. As I said: unison between Triple M + Pioli. I never include Cardinale on it.

          The most expensive signing last summer (CDK) is a proof of that unison:
          • Moncada assisted Maldini in getting CDK’s transfer through (as revealed by CDK’s agent). Why would Moncada did that if he wasn’t in unison to bring CDK?
          • Pioli was asking for an AM when Triple M brought CDK. He played CDK much as AM in the first half of the season despite minimum contribution. It shows that Pioli actually believed that CDK is the one that Triple M brought to fill AM position. He trusted the management that CDK can adapt as AM.

          The reason CDK went out of favor is because he failed to adapt to the new position. CDK is not a natural AM but he has the creativity and other characteristic to play as AM, Triple M though he can adapt to the new position but the lack of preseason means he had a hard time adapting to it. Then Milan fall to crisis aftet WC so there is no more margin for error that he can use to adapt CDK.

        3. I was gonna reply but lost the energy lol
          All I did was respond to the last part of your comment about why they parted ways and simply used Scsroni’s words, not my opinion, as to why they fired him, sigh 🤷‍♂️

      3. yes thats why he chased Renato Sanches for 10 weeks, Pioli was desperate and didnt take no for an answer

        Literally Pioli openly said the transfers being completed late August was bullsh*t and he hated it but go on keep on making excuses for Maldini

        it hurts you now so much that Milan was so much more efficient after he left doesnt it?

    3. You can read yelnat comment.,it is good data. RLC so far in 3 match play good and can adapt to pioli tacticb,the other maldini target are okafor and he is adapt well too . RedBird sacked Maldini because they have different principe & path but M&M still get their salary until their contract expire. Pioli have good relationship with M&M ,thats why pirlo rumour have faded

      1. What has that to do with my comment as i simply stated facts that those players had been linked with us previously before he left because zion train said he didnt like those players we had been linked with under mm tenure.

        I dont get why some around here take that comment at the top as somekind of disgruntled comment as it was simple facts.

  2. This mercato is not Moneyball, it is Moncada as usual, that is why a lot of the names had been mentioned as Maldini’s target. Moncada was the one who recommend players to Maldini (who is not a scout) afterall.

  3. Maldini sign only CDK,Tiaw and Origi for free.The others were loans becouse there was no money.Tiaw is a big succes,and can be sold for a lot of money.CDK is playing very good at Atalanta and will be sold with profit for Milan,Origi also will be sold with profit after loan.So why is 2022 mercato bad? Becouse Maldini was working with money for only one real player?

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