MN: A reflection on the January market two months on – a solid window but not Scudetto-worthy

By Oliver Fisher -

Given Milan’s position in the table and the injuries they had battled to get there heading into the January window, it was apparently it would be crucial to do some ‘repairing’ of depth.

MilanNews takes a look at each arrival and how well they have done since they joined, starting with Fikayo Tomori who joined from Chelsea on loan with an option to buy at €28m, much to the displeasure of large sections of the Chelsea fan base. Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara got the deal over the line and the Englishman has not disappointed, breaking the usual Romagnoli-Kjaer pairing and showing his worth.

His debut came against Inter in the Coppa Italia and he still managed to stand out for the quality of his defensive performance. In a total of 12 games played, he has been outstanding for the most part and his duel won against Vlahovic in the Fiorentina game showed how assured he is. If initially the €28m seemed more like a formal detail inserted between the last lines of the contract, now it seems more and more an investment that Elliot should make without thinking.

Next is Soualiho Meite, a player signed from a Torino and who arrived with some scepticism given he wasn’t featuring regularly in a struggling side. He joined on a loan with option to buy and the adaptation from a relegation battle to a Scudetto fight was not exactly the smoothest transition, as at first Meite seemed awkward and out of place with both the pace of play and the intensity.

However, he has since begun to show his promise and has played 15 matches in total, with arguably his best performance coming in one of the toughest challenges at Old Trafford against Manchester United. Meite was essentially programmed as an efficient alternative to Franck Kessie but ended up partnering him well and allowing Tonali and Bennacer to recover.

Finally, Mario Mandzukic has just four games played in Serie A and only one in the Europa League, for a total of 158 minutes. The perception is that the general feelings upon the arrival of Mandzukic at Linate airport were correct: he has missed too much football, when considering his time in Qatar and the rhythms of the matches and training totally different from those in Europe. A probable return after the international break represents the ideal opportunity for Mandžukić to demonstrate all his worth and earn an extension of his contract.

The report concludes by claiming it was not a market to win the Scudetto, by way of the fact Mandžukić should have made up for Ibra’s absence but couldn’t, however the inclusion of Meïté and Tomori bodes well for the possibility of Milan to consolidate its position in the league and finally reach the Champions League.

Tags AC Milan Fikayo Tomori Mario Mandzukic Soualiho Meite
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