MN: Saelemaekers impresses as Bologna soar – why his future remains uncertain

By Oliver Fisher -

Bologna must make a decision regarding the future of Alexis Saelemaekers between now and the end of the season, but he certainly has not harmed his chances of a permanent stay with another goal at the weekend.

Saelemaekers has spoken in recent months about his decision to join Bologna in the summer and how it has helped him rediscover some of the ‘joy’ he had lost while with Milan, which suggests that he might well be thinking of staying beyond the summer.

How is he doing with the Rossoblu? As MilanNews recall, he was among the best players on the field during their 3-0 win over Salernitana at the weekend, scoring a right-footed shot that left Costil no chance to make it 2-0 and then assisting Lykogiannis to make it 3-0.

Bologna are flying, they are fourth and are closing in on Juventus who are third. Despite this, it has been and down season for the Belgian which is shown by the fact his average rating (out of 10) from TMW for the season so far is 5.98.

That means his fate has not been definitively decided. This is because in the plans of the management are try to snatch the player from Milan at a lower price than the €10m option to buy last summer.

The first official contacts are expected in the coming weeks to try to renegotiate the option amount for a player with two goals and three assists in 25 appearances in 2023-24 so far.

Tags AC Milan Alexis Saelemaekers


  1. Despite the ratings, Motta has always played him, that should tell you how important he is to the team stability.

    Not sure if Bologna would exercise the buy-back, depends on their next coach and it’s more likely if they get a CL spot. I would have kept him but between Chuk and Okafor we don’t have space for him.

    If they don’t get him, I still don’t think it will be that hard to offload him, especially if he gets called for the Belgium NT for Euro 2024.

  2. I think Bologna will redeem him because Motta would prefer stability. And he has been pretty good. He’s not a good fit for Milan unfortunately.

  3. I really don’t understand why it’s considered controversial to suggest that Milan should’ve saved 20m or whatever on Chuk (and Romero), just signed Pulisic and kept Saelemaekers (a Scudetto winner and champions league semi-finalist).

    What makes it even more bizarre is that the same people then go on about money and capital gains.

    I find a good way of saving money is not spending it.

    1. I dont see your view as controversial, as i was sad to see saelemaekers go. He did really well around the end of the season for us untill pioli benched him and i always loved fighters and he was a great servant for us but truth be told the two new additions pretty much made him almost obsolete unless we maybe had used him as a back for either left or right side. I would gladly have kept him though in that capacity or maybe sometimes as a utility player and would still welcome him back if bologna doesnt buy him as he knows our style and play, Romero still came for free though with a lot of promise so i dont consider that deal a bad aquisition and is already leaving some impact in la liga out on loan. Either way how that deal turns out it will be beneficial for the club.

    2. That’s easy to say in hindsight. No one could have possibly predicted Pulisic to play as well as he has done and to stay fit.

      1. No hindsight required really.

        If you sign 3 new players for the same position the chances are at least 2 of them will struggle.

        Chuk has done well in the circumstances.

        This all goes back to focus.

        Focus on signing quality players in key positions, not multiple signings for one position.

        Upgrade the team slowly. Take previous starters and move them to squad players as you improve the first team with the quality gradually.

    3. It’s not controversial, just tiresome.

      I said we need to keep mesias and send salad on loan and spend the chuky cash on a dm. Hjulmand 2 be precise.


      1. Why is it tiresome?

        It’s relevant to the article.

        Isn’t it tiresome deliberately misspelling our former player’s name like our rival fans might do?

        But horses for courses, you say Messias and I say Saelemaekers, but the point still stands, we only needed 1 RW and 1 DM (and not 3 box to box players).

        And why this is relevant is:

        a) we should cut players like Chuk some slack;
        b) we should learn from past mistakes this summer and hopefully focus on 2-3 key signings (in different positions) – that DM, an AM and the CF.

        Great call on Hjulmand by the way. He’d be awesome.

    4. Controversial would be keeping a player who isn’t happy in the club. He has admitted not being happy last season. Being Pulisic’s backup would have made it even worse.

      1. He was only unhappy at the club because Pioli froze him out.

        Keeping players happy is part of the job of a manager, and an area that Pioli failed in.

        1. Pioli froze him for Diaz and Messias. I don’t see him “unfrozing him” for Pulisic and not even Chukwueze at this point.
          Keeping players happy is the job of the manager but some players need to understand that they’re not starting material. Florenzi for example plays in general less minutes that Saelemakers and he doesn’t seem unhappy to be behind Calabria on the starting list.
          I agree that getting 3 wingers (Chukwueze, Pulisic and Romero) was not a good move, for me just getting Pulisic and keeping either Messias or Saelemakers should have been good enough, but there was a lot of hype around Chuk and who knows, maybe he’ll turn out to be good next season.

  4. PPL seems forget before puli & chuk coming , they keep say right wing are dead example last season junior messias & saladmaker, they keep saying atack only start from left side .Saladmaker just score 2 goal & 3 asist from 25 app only play on serie A & coppa in the team that only target avoid relegation every season ( Bologna)and ppl here blaming management ACM want to sell this unhappy player ? Saladmaker unhappy because pioli choose junior mesias than him , for this i agree with coach because junior more dangerous in atacking than saladmaker and can score more goal than saladmaker. If he cannot even compete with junior then how can he compete with pulisic ?? He will become more unhappy in ACM

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