26 days, this is the countdown in view of the second qualifying round of the Europa League, which is the round Milan will start in. However, the Rossoneri are seemingly falling behind.
As highlighted by Matteo Calcagni of MilanNews.it, 21 days have passed since the end of the season, but no signings have been announced by Milan in that period. No renewals and no signings, at least if you look at the first team.
There is still time before the start of the season, three full weeks, just as there is a lot of time before October 5, the deadline for the ‘summer’ transfer market. By that date, however, the qualifiers of the Europa League will have been decided already.
Inter’s failure in the final last night shouldn’t result in Milan focusing just on Italian football. Advancing in the competition represents a very important business card in economic and prestige terms, while it’s an alternate way to UCL.
This Milan, that are keen on returning to the top, can’t underestimate the commitment needed as before playing and advancing in the Europa League, it will be necessary to overcome the qualifiers.
And the Rossoneri of today, albeit reassured by the excellent post-lockdown performances, have let go of many players and are yet to replace them. Just take Bonaventura as an example.
Jack played 45 minutes per game after the lockdown, effectively representing an important cog in Pioli’s rotations. Since his contract expired, however, Milan haven’t brought in a replacement.
Furthermore, Milan won’t be able to count on Rebic for all three qualifying rounds, as a result of the ban he received while at Eintracht Frankfurt. The Rossoneri club are still working on the renewal of Ibrahimovic, but it’s clear that Zlatan alone isn’t enough.
Even considering the (very probable) extension of the Swede, how would the Rossoneri play today? Castillejo, Calhanoglu and Leao, behind Ibra, with only Paqueta and Saelemaekers on the bench, without forgetting the lack of depth in midfield.
In 2017, thanks to a better ranking than the current one, Milan were able to face affordable opponents in two-legged matches. This year, there is a strong risk of facing better-equipped clubs, such as Tottenham, Wolfsburg, PSV and Sporting.
This is why, in the coming weeks, Milan will have to work a lot also in terms of signings, because before the start of the Europa League it will be essential to buy at least one midfielder and one attacker.