January 2020 vs. January 2021 windows summarised and the key differences between the two

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan were a protagonist during the January transfer window as they strengthened in each outfield department with three moves.

The Rossoneri management brought in Fikayo Tomori on loan with option to buy from Chelsea to bolster the defence, Soualiho Meite from Torino on the same terms for the midfield, and Mario Mandzukic joined on a free transfer to reinforce the attack.

As MilanLive writes, back in January 2020 a Milan side in a very different situation – fighting for the top half instead of top spot – intervened in all departments with the signings of Ibrahimovic (released), Kjaer (Atalanta), Laxalt (returned on loan from Torino), Begovic (on loan from Bournemouth to replace Reina) and Saelemakers (signed from Anderlecht initially on loan).

The difference regarding last year’s winter market was that the management focused on the purchase of starting players such as Ibra and Kjaer, to which Saelemakers can be added. Mandzukic, Meite and Tomori are, on paper, all back-ups.

Looking at the players who left the Rossoneri a year ago, there is Suso (Sevilla), Piatek (Hertha Berlin), Reina (Aston Villa – loan) and Ricardo Rodriguez (PSV – loan), plus Caldara who went to Atalanta on loan and Borini who moved to Hellas Verona.

In January 2021, the emphasis was on selling players who no longer fit the plans, as Conti (Parma), Duarte (Basaksehir), Musacchio (Lazio) and Colombo (loan to Cremonese) the players to make way.

The difference, therefore, is that this winter market has been about building on the good work already done with targeted reinforcements to increase the quality of depth, and sales of players outside the plans to trim the wage bill. Last year, it was very much more about boosting the level of the starting XI, and offloading big names that could no longer contribute.

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