MN: Milan’s midfield reinforcement could come from Denmark as Maldini picks No.1 target

By Oliver Fisher -

The name of Raphael Onyedika is the hottest track at the moment as Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara continue to work on signing a new midfielder, a report claims.

According to MilanNews, the directors are pushing hard to sign a new player for the midfield regardless of the fact that Sandro Tonali’s tests this morning showed that he will not be out for a long time and will instead be evaluated day by day.

The report adds that Raphael Onyedika is currently the primary target to strengthen that area of the pitch, as the 21-year-old – who plays for FC Midtjylland in Denmark – is seen as the ideal man in terms of his characteristics.

Therefore, the Nigeria-born youngster is at the top of the list for Maldini and Massara, though no price tag or any other details have yet emerged, and the other options that have emerged in recent days are colder to date.

Tags AC Milan Raphael Onyedika


    1. Not necessarily, an U21 midfielder is more than anything an investment for the future. He actually checks everything we’re looking for in a midfielder (U21, tall, physicality, aggressive, decent passing, explosive in short range)

      He can start learning and if need arises due to injuries we won’t have to play Calabria or Florenzi in midfield but can test the new guy. Also if alternatives lack, he can play the last 15-20 min of a game we’re winning comfortably so that our starters don’t have to play 90 min.
      In addition if he steps up, he’ll be a valid chip even in future contract negotiations (e.g. I doubt we’d let go Romagnoli as easily if we didn’t have Kalulu that stepped up)
      I think unlike with other midfielders we were linked, that this is probable as something that is really happening.

      The main concern is that he’s african and if we add also Bennacer and Adli, we would have a significant gap in midfield every time that the African cup will be played. I think management got a bit blindsided by Adli choosing to play for Algeria.

    2. You have to remember that maldini is keen on not signing bakayoko permanently, so we would need a Jessie and a bakayoko replacement

    3. Pioli said: On paper, a defender and a midfielder is missing.

      What is your take on his statement? Why “on paper”?

      1. Because it’s basically optional. He would like a defender and midfielder, equivalents of Romagnoli and Kessie to replace those same players. Instead he has Gabbia and Pobega/Adli. Thus he *could* work with these players, but would probably prefer more experienced/proven players to come in.

  1. They were right when they claimed after new owners that Milan had less than 50m on transfer budget! We missed on 2 key players (botman,sanchez) we have yet to sing a better right wing and a substitute to Kessie.
    Let me say this correctly when Cardinale told us he hated losing he ment losing money not matches sp American owners

    1. Another moron going on about Redbird. THEY DON’T OWN THE CLUB YET. CLOSING IS IN SEPTEMBER. Write it on your forehead so you don’t forget.

      1. Vero rossonero you are the one who Is a moron, your club is have an opportunity to build on a positive period and they are messing it all up…..

  2. Milan back at he bargain bin as always. They won’t sign anyone over 21. Putting together a great under 21 team, not sure how that helps them win now. How about signing someone who is in their prime? It’s either under 21 or over 33 with this team.

  3. Don’t know much about this player haven’t seen him play – but I trust Moncada – and if he likes him then he is usually right. However, these articles from MilanNews are all BS and spin it to make everything sound great. Let’s just be honest. We may be replacing Kessie with and inexperienced kid from the Danish league. He’s not the “ideal man in terms of his characteristics” – he’s the ideal man for what we can AFFORD with our remaining budget. What choice do M&M have with only 10M approx left to spend on both a CB and a DM? Options are pretty limited. Sad budget for champions of Italy. Hope this kid develops and turns out to be a steal. But that will take time and and we should not put pressure on this young inexperienced kid who plays in a weak league and try to spin it and make it sound like this is our ideal player and we stole him from everyone else lol. MilanNews is a joke just a propaganda machine for the owners.

    1. What make you think MilanNews is controlled by Milan owner?

      Just so you know, this kid check the box for me as he is U21 who can play at Serie A without being registered at the 25-men list. It add another reason why you will not want him.

      1. READ exactly what a said. I did not say not to sign him. If that is who M&M identified to get w the limited funds available then I trust them and we should get him. However the article makes it sound like he was our #1 choice and is the perfect player M&M always wanted. If that were true we would have signed him months ago as he was/is definitely available lol. You get it yet? Do you know what the word “spin” means in the context of news? And if your criteria for signing him and spending 10M is solely based on him being 21 and we are able register him without him counting on the 25 men list – you are more clueless than previously thought. Many other cheaper players who can fill that sole criteria. So again – if that is all we can sign w the limited budget we have left then so be it. My gripe was with MilanNews (not the player nor w/ M&M) always trying to sugar coat things to make it seem this is who we wanted all along. That is called BS.

        1. I’ve read the article and I’ve read what you said and honestly that is the BS. Milannews just says in this article that there is supposedly a new player the nr 1 target. They don’t write anything to sugarcoat this news, just that this is the player that is on the radar. Wheter it’s true or not is another thing, but there’s nothing been said to defend this target or support the management or the owners. It just says there’s a report saying this player is sombody Milan is after.
          Many Milan fans, like you, just don’t understand the new economical reality of football. Many teams are struggling with their finances and Milan is one of the very few teams that have things under control. A (new) owner can’t just use his own money for transfers, so that’s BS as well. Only the ones who cheat FFP can continue to live above their budget, but sooner or later they will get in troubles. Look at what happens at Barcelona. Our current owners have done miracles in recent years on the financial front and so far they didn’t get a penny back. Redbird is not yet owner so they can’t act now. How can people blame somebody who hasn’t bought the club yet? Some people have little patience but it seems others have no patience at all. The team is better than last season, so why complain all the time?

          1. First of all, the team is objectively, undeniably worse than last season. You lost your best midfielder Kessie, who has been their most reliable player the past 2 seasons and as of yet have not replaced him. That alone makes it a worse team. They are incredibly thin at CB losing Romagnoli and again not replacing him. DId not upgrade the RW. Still inexplicably starting Diaz at the number 10. All they did was sign a couple of kids who may be good in a couple years when Milan will then let them go to a big club because they don’t want to pay them.

        2. I read all of what you said. It just remind me that you once said you don’t want Milan to sign homegrown because that fit to my word. I just want to remind you that what I said wasn’t just homegrown but homegrown or U21.

      1. That would still be better than being racist like you.

        Besides, you only want the worst for Milan, so a praise from you is a bad thing.

  4. We should go for this young talent called Raph. He will adapt easily to our style of play. He plays more like Pogba. He is physical and skillful and would serve as a long-term replacement for Kessie.

  5. Why didn’t we go for a free Kanara to begin with instead of wasting time with Sanches or could have done a Adli-esque deal for the latter last January before PSG was even an option. He was too good of a steal for 16M but we blew it

    1. Don’t mind these foolish commenters who keeps saying we don’t need Sanchez….let’s wait and see the person we get at the end, kamarra was there for free, Sanchez at 15m, kessie to expensive to keep?…….now we going to lower leagues begging for players for the same positions, pathetic

  6. Kliko znam Milanu je ostalo od zimskog transfera neiskorišteno oko 20 mil. Nadalje zaradili su sami oko 50 mil.jer su osvojili prvenstvo i plasirali se u LP. Još su nešto i prodali pa i tu bi moglo sve skupa s datim posudbama bit još oko 10 mil. Ta cifra bi mogla bit sasvim dovoljna za ono što im neophodno treba . Ja se pitam GDJE SU PARE !!!!!!!??????? BEZ OBZIRA KO JE NA VLASTI ELIOT ILI CRVENA USRANA PTICA !!!!

  7. I want some of what the guy who says the team is objectively worse is smoking 😂 Kessie was our most reliable player last season, sure! and Romagnoli who lost his spot twice last season, first to Kjaer and then to Kalulu; like, with the amount of playing time he would have had this season, you could replace him with a rabbit wearing sunglasses and it would make no difference, except the rabbit would have a much lower salary. I think these people really support other teams so they just get high at Home and come here to type anything while the high wears off 😂

    1. Yeah, Kessie who every top team wanted. The guy who plays every minute of every game, never gets tired and never gets hurt. Oh and by the way, the teams best penalty taker too. I’m sure the way won’t miss him at all. No need to replace anybody right? I’m sure we’ll go through an entire season without anyone getting hurt. No need for any kind of depth in the midfield or at CB. You’re so foolish you sound like a child.

      1. “No need for any kind of depth”

        Looks like you greatly discounted the existence of Pobega, Krunic, Kjaer, and Gabbia. I understand Gabbia lack quality compared to the others but that does not means Milan does not have any kind of depth. That statement is so disrespectful toward existing player. You should have said “No need for further depth” instead.

        1. If you think Pobega is anywhere near an adequate replacement for Kessie, then you know nothing about football. And yet again , I’m not talking about Romagnoli as a starter, but he was a good to backup to have when they needed it. Now they don’t even have that. You don’t seem to watch much football, but if you did you would realize injuries happen , and if you watch Milan you would know they suffer more injuries than most teams. Having quality backups is a necessity. And right now, their depth is not good enough. And quite frankly neither are their starters in a few positions.

          1. Pobega is backup to Bennacer, he is not Kessie’s replacement. Did I talk about replacement in that comment? No! I was talking about your disrespectful choice of word in describing the depth as if there is no any depth. I don’t deny that the midfield is weaker without Kessie.

            As for the CB:
            At the start of last season it was: Kjaer-Tomori-Romagnoli-Gabbia-Kalulu
            At the end of last season it was: Tomori-Kalulu-Romagnoli-Gabbia
            Now this season it is: Tomori-Kalulu-Kjaer-Gabbia

            So this season the CB are actually better than the end of last season, but I understand 5th CB will offer more safety.

      2. With all due respect Jessie wasn’t our best midfielder,can he pass better than Bennacer,can he tackle or recover lost ball without fouling a player like Bennacer all what kessie was best as is penalty and for your information our team is not worse than last season

    2. Kessie was our most reliable player in 2020-2021, not last season.

      Romagnoli already lost starting place to Kjaer-Tomori before last season began. Last season he got leapfrogged further in the pecking order by Kalulu.

      1. DO you honestly believe Milan have a stronger squad now than last season? Explain where please?
        Their defense is exactly the same minus Romagnoli. So that would be worse.
        They lost Kessie in the midfield and added Pobega. = dramatically worse.
        The right wing is the same. Not strong.
        Diaz is still your starting number 10 but having Adli and De Ketelaere gives you better depth so slightly better there.
        Ibra and Giroud are a year older. Who knows what Origi will actually add.
        They are not better in any way.
        Just blindly supporting whatever management does , does not make you a good fan.

        1. The defense is better than the second half of last season as it means Romagnoli is replaced by Kjaer. The defense is also better than the first half of last season as Kalulu has greatly increase his level compared to that period. There is thing called growth. 5th CB will be bonus.

          Midfield is a bit weaker than last season. Out of the players leave for free, Kessie is the one I want Milan to retain the most.

          RW is better than last season, Messias has adapted to Milan and for the first time had proper pre-season. CDK and Origi will also provide depth at RW.

          AM is the area Milan improve the most with CDK and Adli.

          FW is the same, Giroud might be older but he had adapt to Serie A by now. There is also better depth in the position with Origi and CDK.

          1. So your argument for the team being better is dependent on the same exact players all being better this season, hoping a bunch of 21 year olds will step in right away and be good, and crossing your fingers and hoping nobody gets injured. That’s basically the management’s strategy too. 🤦‍♂️. I think a lot of Milan fans are about to figure out how important Kessie was to this team. The guy absolutely bossed the midfield. That’s not replaceable, especially with someone like Pobega.

          2. We have 27 players in the first team, 25 of them can be registered and Maldini is working on replacing the 2 players that cannot be registered with 2 new players that can be registered. So at the end of mercato, Milan will has 27 registered players, enough to cope for injury crisis.

            Last season Milan also has injury issue but due to the quality of the backup, Milan can stay consistent and win the scudetto.

            You also have Giroud decline due to getting older in your argument so why can’t I have young players getting better due to more experience as my argument?

            Plus, the players already got better, look at the difference between the start of last season and the start of this season. They have grown.

            Lucky for Milan to have coach like Pioli, who trusted Tonali and Kalulu, if it was like Mourinho, he will sign new player straight away last season giving no room for their rise.

            There is a big difference in managing old team and young team. In managing old team, you can only improve by signing better player. In managing young team, it’s already improve naturally, only need to fill some gap while consolidating.

          3. That’s the dumbest argument ever. You’re arguing that the defense is better now(same defense minus Romagnoli) because everyone is healthy. As if nobody is going to get injured this season. What if Kjaer gets injured again, or Tomori. It doesn’t matter the number of registered players, it matters the quality of those players. Milan was stronger last season precisely because they had strong backups. They could bring Romagnoli off the bench if necessary. Gabbia is not up to it. They had 3 starting quality midfielders in Kessie, Bennacer and Tonali. So if one was hurt or needed a rest ( which Bennacer and Tonali often do) they were still good. Now they do not. If you can’t understand that I don’t know how to explain it. If you can’t see the difference in quality between Kessie and Pobega or Romagnoli and Gabbia you just don’t understand football.

          4. At least we agree on something to start with: Milan had strong backup last season.

            Kessie is out, Pobega in. Pobega is a reliable backup, Krunic is also reliable backup. It is obvious Milan still has reliable backup in midfield. But it is also true that the midfield is overall still weaker than last season. The problem is there is no one that can replace Kessie like for like (just as Pioli said). Some people said Renato should be his replacement, but he severely lack defensive qualities to play at double pivot, he is not intelligent enough in positioning and anticipating. Even if Milan sign him, he will play in more advanced position. Hence why I said earlier, I had wanted Kessie to stay.

            As for defense, I stand with my assesment that the defense, based on quality, is stronger than at the start of last season. At the start of last season, Romagnoli is the reliable backup, now Kjaer is the reliable backup. Even Tomori and Kalulu has risen above Kjaer who was shortlisted in Ballon d’Or.

            Kalulu was actually backup mainly for RB even though can also be used as CB and LB, at the start of last season, he was actually just number 5th in CB, Gabbia was 4th. So at the start of the season last year, we have 3 capable CB + 2 junior CB. As of now, we currently have 3 capable CB + 1 junior CB + 1 pending.

            If Milan sign a CB better than Gabbia (with such low bar, it is not that hard isn’t it?), then Milan will be stronger than last season based on quality while not reducing quantity:
            1. Kjaer
            2. Tomori
            3. Romagnoli
            4. Gabbia
            5. Kalulu (pre-breakout)
            1. Tomori
            2. Kalulu (post-breakout)
            3. Kjaer
            4. New CB
            5. Gabbia

  8. CDK and Origi have improved the team greatly.
    Rebic will be better this year because he’s healthy and Kjaer will be back. Adli is helpful depth. We will be better… but I do want them to go after Ziyech which will help upgrade our scoring punch.

    1. These arguments that they are better now because they are healthy now, before the season even starts is the funniest thing ever. Generally the injuries tend to happen During The Season!!! You don’t think Rebic will get injured this season? I’ll take that bet. History says you are wrong. And Kjaer is what 34 years old now coming off a major knee injury. You don’t know if he’ll get back to his previous form. And who knows about Origi, what did he play like 2 games for Liverpool last season.

      1. Rebic injured a lot last season. If Leao keep his form, even with Rebic struggle with injuries like last season, that is already improvement on LW. Furthermore, we finally have more players that can cover for Leao when Rebic is unavailable: CDK & Origi.

        Origi actually play as LW at Ligue 1. While CDK, on paper, he play as CF with Brugge, but on heatmap, he play 50% as RW and 50% as LW. To lesser extent, Adli can also play at LW.

  9. Don’t waste your time @K on this crazy and delusional idiot called @Yelnats24. He literally said what Pioli said in his OWN interview (that we needed a defender and midfielder) was fake lol. He’s a nut job

    1. Juro the twister has come to twist my word again.

      Pioli said “on paper” which means he want them but not mandatory. Ideally he want 5th CB and 5th DM but if they don’t arrive, he can cope with what is available.

      Are you to delusional that you can’t see reality? You even said Kessie never got injured last season 🤣

      1. Dude, that is Pioli in the nicest and politest way possible saying hey I need another quality midfielder and CB. “On paper” means if you look at the squad list those are the positions that need strengthening. Even Milan management know that, why do you think they were going after Sanchez and Botman??? They know that’s what they need, Ownership just won’t spend the money to make it happen. They’ll just end up at the bargain bin getting some 20 year old B league player for cheap. I was hoping they would take another step up towards becoming an elite team that they once were but sadly…. not going to happen. Under this ownership.

        1. Milan cannot accomodate both of them without needing overhaul as they exceed non-homegrown limit of Serie A. But thet might be able to accomodate one or lesser options from homegrown/U21.

          Maldini stated that he want 2-3 important signings + consolidation. He already got his wish for 2 important signings (Origi and CDK) as well as consolidation (Florenzi + Messias).

          Remember, consolidation, not overhaul. He doesn’t want the squad to lose its solidity because of too many changes.

          One of CB/DM might be the 1 remaining important signing. But as Maldini said 2-3 instead of firmly 3, it means the 3rd is actually optional. It can also be argued that the 3rd is actually RW but Maldini stop it as CDK can also play RW while at the same time Adli shine as AM.

          The fact that Pioli said “On paper” confirm this. Yes, he want 5th CB and 5th DM, but it doesn’t necessarily they are important signings.

          “On paper” is used to say something that appear to be true but not necessarily true (I check dictionary for this 😑). Put it in the context of mercato, it means that theoritically, a new CB and a new DM is needed but can actually be unnecessary.

          It means he want the new CB and DM as safety measure that might be needed in case of injury crisis. Backup players, does not need to be of high quality but at least can contribute in time of needs.

          1. I can’t believe you still don’t get it. Your talking about it would be nice to have a 5th midfielder as if it’s just about filling in roaster spots with anyone. You still think every player is equal. They didn’t lose their number 5 midfielder, they lost their number 1 midfielder. An every game starter. If you replace that with a 5 or even a 3 it is still a big drop off. They have Bakayoko but Pioli’s doesn’t even trust him enough to play him so what I say the point. He may as well not be on the roster at all.

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