AC Milan’s summer transfer window has come under fire as the contributions of the new additions have not been sufficient yet, a report claims.
La Gazzetta dello Sport begin by talking about the collapse against Roma, which arrived just after Pioli had put Charles De Ketelaere and Aster Vranckx on the field, something that has reopened the debate on Milan’s summer transfer market.
De Ketelaere: Charles De Ketelaere is inevitably the most disappointing signing. He started well and it was said that he just needed a goal, but since those encouraging first few games he seems to be in a psychological tunnel.
His last game as a starter in Serie A was on October 1, against Empoli, but he will have new chance tomorrow night in the Coppa Italia against Torino, perhaps even as a centre-forward.
Adli: Yacine Adli is currently a player on the edge of Pioli’s project having played one game as a starter against Hellas Verona on 16 October, which remains his last appearance in Serie A. Pioli evidently does not consider him ready and his last outing against PSV in the friendly December 30 confirmed this.
The Frenchman showed some positives in the winter training camp in Dubai but he is not very intense and physically has difficulty against everyone. Tomorrow he will play against Torino, in the centre or on the left, and he must prove his worth.
Origi: Divock Origi trained separately yesterday and his return – which will probably be postponed to Lecce – is one of the most awaited. The Belgian is needed to give a 36-year-old Olivier Giroud a break.
Origi arrived as a free agent in the summer but has a contract worth around €4m net per season. He has the physique and experience in big games to do well, but has one goal in 10 Serie A appearances.
Dest: Sergiño Dest joined Milan on a loan with option to buy set at €20m which means he has a slim chance of staying. To keep him – unless agreements are renegotiated – a major investment would be needed for a player that has had lots of ups and downs.
When Calabria and Saelemaekers were out injured for a long time, Pioli still almost always played with Kalulu at full-back and a different winger. He did well at the World Cup with the USA, but now is back to being a bench player at Milan.
Vranckx: Against Roma the Belgian came on in the final few minutes and did not do well. At a time when Milan above all had to avoid granting free-kicks to Roma, he offered Dybala the foul he wanted and the 2-2 goal came from that.
In the last match before the World Cup, against Fiorentina at San Siro, he had played in the final helping Milan to win in added time. Against Roma, the same playing time but opposite outcome. Despite this, he has the qualities to be useful in a number of positions, while Milan can buy him for €12m from Wolfsburg.
Thiaw: Malick Thiaw grabbed the headlines after Verona-Milan thanks to two heroic blocks. Three months later, his growth remains slow and gradual: four matches in Serie A and none in the Champions League because he is not on the list.
Pioli brought on Gabbia over the German U21 international two nights ago and might have some regrets about that. Thiaw is part of the future because he was bought outright for €5m and can afford to learn from Kalulu, Tomori, Kjaer and Gabbia.
If he were not suspended due to a previous DFB-Pokal ban he would have played tomorrow evening and Pioli has already shown that he is not afraid to launch young central defenders.