According to the Spanish site Mundo Deportivo, Spanish defender, Laia Codina, will head to AC Milan on loan for the season.
The defender will come to Milan on loan from FC Barcelona, who are her parent club. The move is only a loan, as Barça will bring her back for the 2022/2023 season. The team intends to bring her back into the fold, as they theorize that she will be instrumental for them during that year.
Though the team intends to bring her back, Codina has yet to sign a renewal with them. Her contract with the Blaugranes will expire in 2022. Therefore, it wouldn’t be a surprise if she signed an extension with Barça before heading out on loan.
Mundo Deportivo states that Codina chose Milan for several different reasons. The first is that the team will allow her to compete on three different fronts, both domestically with Serie A Femminile and the Coppa Italia, and in Europe with the Champions League. This will give her the experience she’ll need to grow as a player.
She also chose Milan due to the team’s prestige and history, as the thought of playing for the storied club appealed to her. The fact that Vero Boquete is at the club will also help, as her fellow Spaniard can help Laia make the transition from Spain to Italy when she joins Milan.
Laia also wants to play for Spain in the Women’s Euros in 2022, so her move to the Rossonere will give her the chance to catch the eye of La Roja’s coach, Jorge Vilda. Codina is expected to play a ‘prominent’ role for Milan, who will give her the space she needs to thrive. Codina won’t have the playing time she needs at Barcelona, as the team recently signed Irene Paredes. Paredes is considered to be one of the best centre-backs in the world and is expected to form a strong partnership with Mapi León at Barça.
If Laia were to stay with them, then she would spend most of her time on the bench. The story would be the complete opposite at Milan, hence why a loan to the team has been facilitated.
Codina is only 21-years-old, and yet she has a wealth of experience for her age. The defender was instrumental in Barça’s treble-winning season, as she helped the team win La Liga, the Copa de la Reina, and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Laia is a talented defender and is considered the crown jewel of the La Masia academy. She is a strong and physical centre-back, who reads the game well. She also has good anticipation of her opponent’s moves, is mobile, and is a great tackler. And since she played for Barcelona, it’s also no surprise that she’s technically gifted and is an excellent passer of the ball. Her loan is quite the coup for the Rossonere, as it means that they’ll have one of the most talented defenders in the world playing for them.
Having her at Milan would not only make the defense even stronger but lend prestige to the team as a whole. Laia’s signing shows that the team can attract top-level talent, which is further proof that Milan are serious about their women’s project. The team is building a competitive squad that will compete for titles, and Codina is the type of signing that will help the team do this.
It is also worth noting that Laia had similar offers from Bordeaux and Bayern Munich to join their teams. In the end, she chose AC Milan.
Codina’s signing, coupled with her pairing up with veteran defenders Laura Agard and Laura Fusetti, while being fortified by goalkeeper Laura Giuliani, means that Milan might have the strongest defense in the league. It is a tantalizing prospect and will make the team serious title contenders going into next season.
Mundo Deportivo also reports that Codina should be in Milan to complete her medical by next Wednesday. Her unveiling for the team should follow shortly afterward.
The Rossonere are currently training in preparation for their upcoming friendlies and Champions League qualifiers. And having Laia Codina on the team will bring them one step closer to Europe.