News has come from England that Manchester United are casting an admiring glance at AC Milan’s resurgence over the last two and a half years.
The Manchester Evening News cited the Rossoneri as a model that United can follow to get out of their own slump, as they will miss out on Champions League football for next season while the gap to rivals Manchester City and Liverpool seemingly continues to grow.
La Gazzetta dello Sport explains how Ralf Rangnick – who was at one time expected to be the man to lead Milan into a new era – has hired Erik Ten Hag from Ajax to try and take the club forward but the right project is needed in addition to tactics.
The fact that foreign funds are willing to pay €1bn+ to buy Milan shows the amazing work done by Elliott Management. From the CEO Ivan Gazidis downwards, Milan set the stance that no one player is bigger than the club and their ideas, letting Gianluigi Donnarumma, Hakan Calhanoglu and soon Franck Kessie walk on a free transfer because of their internal evaluations and salary cap.
Milan have taken another path to a lot of the elite in Europa and they continue to follow it. They have gone out to buy young players without breaking the bank in the hope of developing them into real gems such as Rafael Leao, Theo Hernandez, Mike Maignan, Ismael Bennacer, Fikayo Tomori and Sandro Tonali.
None were really superstars, but the management trusted their scouting and the analytics at play, but most importantly they believed in Pioli’s work as head coach which has helped to increase the value of the squad through the development of the young players he has at his disposal.
Milan currently have Calabria, Tonali and Gabbia who are Rossoneri to the core, just like they had Baresi, Maldini, Costacurta, Filippo Galli, Evani and Albertini during the great era of the 90s and 00s.
Sir Alex Ferguson had Beckham, Scholes, Giggs, Butt, Gary Neville and Phil Neville, to boast but now the time for nostalgia is over. The Red Devils need take a look around and catch up, and maybe Rangnick will have a look at Milan as a model to follow.