Sacchi hypothesises about Milan’s 2023 summer mercato: “Don’t make a comedy film”

By Ben Dixon -

AC Milan’s 2023 summer mercato was applauded for several reasons. However, Arrigo Sacchi has hypothesised that the mercato movements of the Rossoneri may not have all been made by the coach, a trend which cannot continue if correct.

Whilst Milan parted ways with Sandro Tonali, the outlook on the summer 2023 mercato is relatively positive, given the incomings have all been a success for the Rossoneri. Christian Pulisic, Tijjani Reijnders and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been hugely impactful for the squad, and even if the squad did not achieve their aims this season, there is hope they can progress with these signings.

However, this trend must continue, if not be bettered, and this window must be done correctly. Milan require new starters in three positions – a striker, central defender, and defensive midfielder – and there is a lot of money to fulfil these needs.

If the Diavolo get the signings right, they could be sorted for years to come, but if €40 million is spent poorly, the results will damage the club for years to come. Therefore, the importance of correctly allocating and using the budget is paramount.

Ahead of the window, Sacchi spoke about the previous summer’s activity at the Milan Football Week organised by Gazzetta dello Sport, and his words have been relayed by Milan News.

“Something is happening that has never happened before, there is a group of strategists. Before we were all tacticians, this is a step forward. A tactician is someone who hopes to exploit the opponent’s space.

“You need quality players and you have to play with more defensive players than attacking ones: for me, you have to attack and defend in eleven. If there is no courage, it means there is no knowledge.

“The coach must know what he wants to do and bring in suitable players, if you don’t you’re making a comical mistake, which ends in a comical film [Poor signings can become hilarious because of how poor they may be, which in turn creates a comedy in itself]. Milan bought 14-15 players last year, but did Pioli want them? If yes, he is guilty too. If not, no.”

Tags AC Milan Arrigo Sacchi


  1. He is still crying about that? Pioli wanted to keep Krunic. I say thank cthulhu he didn’t have more say on who to bring and who to keep..

    And it was 10 players not 14 and we needed every single one. We know have something that is called depth. We haven’t had that in 10 years..

      1. Don’t put the man on a pedestal. Sure he was a legendary coach for a few years. But in the 21st century most of what he talks about is nostalgic BS and he couldn’t be more wrong.. At least capelo makes sense when he speaks and is also more selective on when to speak. This dude? He blabs every chance he gets just to try and stay relevant.. and it’s always the same boring BS. Foreigners bad.

        Many years ago even zlatan told him he talks to much, live on tv

    1. Sportiello was already signed by the previous management to provide a good backup for Maignan. Then they sold Tonali. They kicked out De Ketelaere to justify the sack of the previous management and now his release clause looks ridiculous. Pulisic was brought in for commercial reasons, they acknowledged that. After hesitating for Kamada, they decided not to pursue him and went for Loftus-Cheek, who was also coveted by the previous management. Then they found Reijnders out of nowhere, who is very different from Tonali or Kessié. They brought in Musah as a midfielder even if he was playing right winger for Valencia. At this point, it’s obvious that Pioli wanted to keep Krunic because his midfield was Reijnders (unproven), Loftus-Cheek (unproven and injury prone), Musah (not a midfielder), Adli, Pobega and Bennacer (out). Romero and Pellegrino were useless signings, Chukwueze has been barely better than Messias or Saelemaekers (but he has potential, so let’s see). Okafor has been barely playing. Jovic was a late panic signing.

      I really don’t think that Pioli had his say. The previous management wanted to sack him so he probably agreed to be a yes man to keep his job. It’s obvious that this mercato was in line with the moneyball/trading policy, many young players who would not elevate the quality of the team but maybe provide some depth and potential in the future. It was a chaotic mercato to say the least. None of the new guys turned into a world class player yet. When we had to align our best eleven players, in top games, we were embarrassed most of the time.

      1. I stopped reading at cdk was kicked out to justify the sacking of M&M.

        Are you OK? Have you taken your pills?

        Or do you wanna try to explain how an adult human mind can come to that conclusion? Because it’s utterly bsish

        1. Ah ok I foolishly thought that you were open to the debate. Last summer De Ketelaere has been pointed as a big failure from the previous management. Now I don’t see any evidence that Musah will be loaned even if they have the same age and they had similar first seasons at Milan.

          1. You want a debate. Here it is. Pioli decided to switch ot a 433. We bought 3 mezzalas. Fact! We did the summer prep for a 432. We played 432 at the start of the season. Cdk was out because he was an AM and had no spot in the 432. He was told he won’t get a lot of game time. So was adli for that matter..this are facts you can look it up. Cdk decided to leave. Adli decided to fight for a spot..
            Debate enough?

            Going on. I don’t remember many clubs asking for cdk 2 be honest. Atalanta did and he wasn’t all that thrilled about it if I remember right..anyway no better clubs came a knocking so that’s where he ended up.

            I’m 1000000000% sure he didn’t leave because he was a failure from the previous management and needed to be gone tho..

          2. Yeah you’re not wrong and I’m not trying to say that it was a mistake to get rid of De Ketelaere, even if I would have tried him at right winger.

            Though I maintain my idea that the sack of the previous management was the result of a game of power between Furlani and Maldini, maybe even Moncada and Pioli who was fighting to keep his job. It was convenient that De Ketelaere was labelled a failure as he was the prime recruit of the previous summer.

          3. Cdk was a flop. Vranck was a flop. Dest was a flop. Origi. Ahem. It was a very poor summer that. Ofc the takeover took forever, still. Can’t really be surprised they got the boot.. I’d done spring cleaning myself in cardinal shoes

          4. At some point I think we have to agree whose fault is it when it comes to flops. Last year it was Maldini. This season it was Pioli. It’s never Moncada nor this management it seems.

          5. Thiaw at 8 million and CDK were successful. Even at 40 million, for those two, it averages out to 20 million for two players who increased their value since we signed them, who are very young.

            The rest were cheap signings and were hardly coming in with any expectations. They were barely given starting minutes either and arrived late in the summer.

            It was a tiny budget and Maldini was asked to cut the wage bill back that summer. He made miracles with what he had to work with.

        2. Vranckx, Dest & Origi cost us nothing more than 3 milions, free agent and paid loans, Musah and Cheek 40 Million.

          We would have used the 20 millions of Musah in Hujlmand former Lecce, this year his market value has skyrocketed.

          1. We could’ve have..we should have..we didn’t. I’m sure the little murican will be better next season tho.

          2. Maldini took on the role when milan was in a bad place with sanctions and need to reduce wage bill. and he delivered the title. people who criticise maldini have no appreciation of how difficult it is to build something. real life is not football manager

      2. “They kicked out De Ketelaere to justify the sack of the previous management”

        ROFL. If you aren’t trying already, you should try to make your living with stand up. Joke after joke. Hilarious. And kind of sad too.

        1. “De Ketelaere ha rimontato il flop milanista dell’anno scorso, rivalutando la scelta di Paolo Maldini (che venne defenestrato anche per questa).” From Paolo Condò.

          “Dopo avere acquistato circa 35 giocatori ci viene contestato l’ingaggio di De Ketelaere, che peraltro aveva 21 anni, un’età in cui non sempre l’adattamento è immediato. Chi ha giocato a calcio sa che non sempre si è strutturati a quell’età per sostenere un salto così importante come quello fatto da Charles: i ragazzi vanno aspettati, aiutati, coccolati e ripresi, continuamente.” From Paolo Maldini.

          1. For anyone not fluent, I got a gpt translation …

            Sure, here is the translation of the provided text to English:

            “De Ketelaere has turned around last year’s Milan flop, reassessing Paolo Maldini’s choice (who was also dismissed partly because of this).”

            “After having bought about 35 players, we are criticized for signing De Ketelaere, who was only 21 years old, an age when adaptation is not always immediate. Those who have played football know that at that age, one is not always prepared to handle such an important leap as the one Charles made: the young players need to be waited for, helped, nurtured, and supported continuously.”

            I find this a bit frustrating – not the Italian – but the incomplete reasoning.

            I am still unclear what posn CdK was brought in to play for Milan. I thought it was AM so I’ll go with that.

            Maldini is so very right that at 21 with a step up in league, a step up in club, a new language, a coach who only speaks that language etc that CdK need time he was not given.

            But Gasperini played CdK as a second striker not an AM. So what is incomplete, to me, is that he was bought for the wrong position (check my assumption) and when put in the right position with a years seasoning and a support system he had a year to rival Puli.

            Indeed if you think “big games” it can be argued he exceeded Puli.

            So Maldini makes sense but seems to stop short of an expert evaluation of the whole situation.

          2. You’ll never get a middle ground with these guys. The “pro-Maldini” people are more likely to concede the middle than the “anti-Maldini’. Why is Dest even named as a flop for instance? He was never bought as a serious purchase. Both our right backs got injured and he was a deadline day signing. We literally signed dude because that’s what was available and cheap.
            The lackmof context boggles my mind everytime.
            Vranckx is a Maldini signing…..who scouted him? Couldn’t we have waited to see how he would develop? Plus he was cheap. Low risk, high reward. We spent $20m on Musah along the same lines…potential and hope…. but because Pulisic did so well, his performances masks the failures of the the other signings.
            We gained great backups at the striker/forward position and a proper RW. That was it, that was what 120m+ got us. RLC did not have more output than Diaz. The midfield had less output than last year’s midfield’s attrocious performance in the league. That is quite telling. But no one in the media wants to admit that it bring out any articles as such. It took more than 2 players to achieve Tonali’s output. That’s horrendous. …but again…..Pulisic did so amazing it softens the performances of the others.

      3. Thanks at least one person has a common sense, all the players bought last summer, didn’t make the quantum leap, and don’t have the potential to turn into world class player, just Moneyball calciatori, no one want them, not getting involved in auction, it was easy targets.

        1. “, no one want them”

          This is false. As stated above, Maldini himself was looking at Puli and RLC.

          I find myself puzzled by statements like this. We finished 3 places about the previous season while having a true crisis of injuries in the defense and a coach with an approach players simply didn’t seem to understand or be able to execute (most players not just the new ones)

          If we apply Maldini’s wisdom to these new players (most still pretty young as well) then we should expect great things from Puli, RLC and Reinjders. We should expect solid/improved squad play from Chuk and Musah and Ok4. Heck Chuk in the last few games of the season seemed to almost be ready to challenge Puli on the right!

          Per Maldini’s premise I am leaving out Jovic. He had plenty of Serie A experience coming in thus no potential upside from the “learning experience”. I am leaving out Gabbia for the same reason but feel like I am missing something. My instinct (maybe just hope for a hometown boy) is that he has room to grow.

          Why do I see so much moaning about last year? We were observably improved and Maldini’s words applied to our situation indicate we will be far better next year with most of those new players.

          1. Maldini obviously wanted Loftus-Cheek for depth, not as a starter. He was obviously annoyed to lose his best players for free because of a salary cap that never evolved, even after clearing the debt and winning a Scudetto. His goal was to keep the core that was built along the years, not sell our top players to weaken the team and bet on young unproven cheap players, again. With the investments he asked for, we can keep Kessié and Tonali, use the money wasted on Musah, Chukwueze, Pellegrino, Romero to sign someone like Milinkovic-Savic or maybe Gundogan who was reportedly interested in living in Milan. With a small financial effort, we could even get Thuram.

            In the end it’s just a matter of ambitions and this ownership/management doesn’t hide the fact that the current ambitions are to buy low, sell high, appear in UCL and generate ROI for Redbird.

          2. I appreciate some of the background I didn’t have @Barts.

            I can definitely see Maldini didn’t have the financial support of last year.

            At the same time I am not criticizing him. I am applying his clear wisdom about CdK to last years Mercato. The result is that we should see a much improved Milan because of these players. This gives me hope that a high quality striker and CDM will see us compete for the Scudetto while also allowing us to compete in UCL and the cup.

            Nope still not too quickly.

        2. I definitely wanted half of them. And we needed depth..badly. could the mercato have been better? Yes. Was it done poorly aka a failure? No.

          Only idi0ts like sacchi say so

          1. African man. Pls mind your own. He’s insulting the club that got him fame with his negative comments all the time..

  2. Well. Buying players is investment. You buy cheap young players for 5 to 10 million, which in return can be valuable in market for 5 times more. And in future sale club earn more money which then is used to buy more quality players.
    Milan don’t buy only players for greater impacts, but perspective players as well.

  3. You’re right, Sir. If these players – Zirkzee, Emerson Royal – are not what the coach wants, it will be a big problem fitting them into his plan. Milan cannot afford to gamble next season

  4. If people were not using their own brains and just listened to fools like Sacchi and the rest of the hatters, they’d think that Milan is Chelsea and after ,according to them, a “bad” mercato finished mid table and out of Europe.

    1. “Fools like Sacchi”…😂…mama mia,mascalzoneeee!..You lil wanky ,he is a legend of this club and you are just a clueless american as* licker of Jerry.

      1. Sacchi is an old fool.
        Sacchi had 2 good years as a coach, nothing after that or before that.
        Google him. He was retired from coaching in his 40’s.
        He won nothing before Milan and nothing after Milan.
        Great coaches win consistently, not just in 2 years.
        Capello won with Milan and won everywhere else.
        Ancelotti won with Milan and everywhere else.
        Guardiola won everywhere.
        Conte won everywhere.
        Mourinho won everywhere.
        Sacchi is just a Zaccheroni + lucky to have 3 of the greatest players of that time on his team. 3 players who BTW were all foreign.
        Tge only one who is into a*s is you, Sacchi’s a*s that is.

        1. Very unpopular opinion about a coach considered as a legend of the club, the game and a member of the Italian football hall of fame but why not.

          1. Yeah man I wasn’t born haha so I really dont care, you can have your exotic opinion here as much as you want. I’m not surprised that you would dislike a coach who won two Champions League rather than chasing for sustainability and return on investment.

          2. It’s hilarious to list coaches who they themselves use Sacchi’s methods. Ancelotti and Guardiola both have admitted to be heavily influenced by Sacchi’s football. Sacchi was a revolutionary coach. Doesn’t matter if it was one year, 6 months or 20. He has gone down in history as one of the coaches who literally changed the game. Guardiola had admitted that he borrowed from Sacchi. His Barca for instance is a mix between Sacchi’s system and the Dutch 433 system.
            People just spout nonsense for the sake of it. Denigrating a legend of the game ….but why am I not surprised

        2. He is also a world-cup finalist, and revolutionized many aspects of football so to speak. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest coaches in football history.
          So to say that he is just like Zaccheroni is quite the unpopular opinion to have.

          1. I watched the ’94 world cup.
            Italy was trash and barely got out of the group.
            The rest of it was only thanks to the greatness of Roberto Baggio, a player that Sacchi the revolutionary didn’t even want.
            Zaccheroni also revolutionized the game especially in Italy at the time. He was one of the 1st that started playing with 3 at the back. That’s the only time Milan played with 3 at the back.

          2. Italy never really looked great in most world cups, neither 1982 nor 2006 were visually impressive. For what matters, they reached the final in 1994 and lost it on penalties against a great Brazilian side, something they failed before Sacchi and after Sacchi.
            I’m not going to debate who I think is the greatest coach, but if you want to label Sacchi as some ordinary coach, understand that you’re in a small minority and that most pundits don’t agree with you.

  5. Love you Sacchi but please chill. People have different opinions about last summer mercato, much more believe it was a good one and you’ve the right to believe it was not. But you keep asking like 8 times if Pioli wanted the players or not when you could off simply call Pioli and get the answer from your good friend! But if you prefer speculations then here: it’s more likely that Pioli didn’t particularly ask for the players but more importantly he’d approved them as I’d heard him on a few occasions saying the squad’s been improved and that he love the characteristics of the new players that they are more European style and even adding that we were kind of on par with Inter squad before we’ve played them. So I think Pioli was happy with the players brought in ,at least he’s never said otherwise,just that Inter were extra ordinary to compete against. Pioli was a gentle honest professional, even when some said he was looking for excuses and not taking blames. But Sacchi should let it rest.

    1. You think that Pioli would publicly expose his employers, who put the emphasis on PR and communication above all, saying that he was not satisfied with the mercato? Especially after having witnessed what happened to Maldini when he suggested that the ownership should invest in the squad in his infamous interview?

      1. Pioli seemed to be very happy with newcomers. I recall some articles last summers when he did phone some of the players (I think Thuram and then Chukwueze) and it was him who decided to shift to a 4-3-3. Reijnders, Loftus-Cheek and Musah were purchased based on that shift to a 4-3-3. He also vetoed some purchases ideas like Singo (you can arguee if it was a good decision or not) because he didn’t think he would fit into our system and he did claim that Krunic would be enough for the defensive midfield position which turned out to be a huge mistake and one of the reasons why we’re still looking for a Kessie replacement. Overall Pioli was more involved during the summer 2023 transfer window than during any transfer window prior to that.

  6. Italy are starting with 2 left footed CB and leaving Buongiorno on the bench when having a lefty and righty playing together would be more ideal, not showing that Buongiorno is bad he’s actually very good but rather showing how good Calafiori could be to have convinced Spalletti of taking that part. A good scout who’s looking for a powerful modern CB will look out for Calafiori especially that he won’t cost as much right now. The Bologna man is whose value will skyrocket at end of the Euros

    1. Unfortunately we missed the boat on Calfiori, pretty sure he is specifically requested by Motta at Juventus.

      Buongiorno, I’d really like him but currently looks like Napoli making all the moves. They’ve put an official bid, and Conte reportedly met him in person at a restaurant in turin, to explain how he’d fit into his project.

      Not blaming the management here but all the focus on Zirkzee means they have less time to wrap up the other signings.

      1. We have a chance until they sign a contract. Calafiori or scalvini are good targets. We lack the italian core. Besides any signing has to be better than current crop of tomori, gabia, thiaw, Kalulu + simic. Otherwise no point signing anyone.

        1. Scalvini is unfortunately out with a cruciate ligament tear so and wont be back until late November so at least for now he wont be a target and we might be outpriced by Atalantas rumored demands which probably would be in the vicnity of 60-70 mil.

      2. Sorry but I blame the managers, their offer for Calafiori last year was a loan with a buy out set at 2.5 millions, while they wasted 4 millions for unproven Pellegrino,the latter has played 17 matches, against 41 for Calafiori, with the fact both was born in 2002, can’t get their logic.

        It’s not too late to join the race for him, but Moncada & co are too busy with Brassier, Lacroix… Etc Moneyball players

  7. If talking about Ac Milan not surprise become like comedy since the players in and out only for business and money not for make Ac Milan more stronger.. I’m rossoneri fans but after Paolo Maldini out, I only say what a crazy this season.. since Maldini know what the team need to become a winner.. even Ibrahimovic is a great man but still he must know what Ac Milan need right now to comeback become a winner team…last time Pioli says Ac Milan is runner up in Serie A (but can’t you see the GAP from the winner is 19 points) if he was great man must admit he failed.. Arrigo Sacchi is a great man but if he been selected become a headcoach in Ac Milan (not guarantee become team winner) but i think Ac Milan maybe better than in Pioli this season..

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