Well into the transfer period, Milan have found themselves with three new additions and four new contracts. Adil Rami, Michael Agazzi, Alex and Jeremy Menez will all be under the direction of Filippo Inzaghi in 2014/2015, and here’s how the rate in terms of value to the Red and Black.
Rami has been a part of Milan since the fall of 2013 after he was imposed the largest fine in Valencia history for his open criticism of his teammates and coach. While in Milan, however, he had tremendous production as a center back, notching three goals in eighteen matches as he became a mainstay on the starting XI once Clarence Seedorf took the reigns. Now that he is out of his Valencia contract, that distraction will be left behind (hopefully). While he should pair up quite nicely with the other signing in Alex, his past history of being a bit too outspoken can be a bit disconcerting. If he stays cognizant of what he says off the pitch and lets his on-field actions speak for him, this transfer will pay off nicely for the Rossoneri. Grade: B-
Marco Amelia, longtime backup of Christian Abbiati, was shown the door this summer upon the expiration of his contract, leaving a void for the backup goaltender spot. In lieu of promoting third-string keeper Gabriel, former Cagliari/Chievo Verona goaltender Michael Agazzi was signed on a free transfer. Agazzi has a career 1.36 GAA, not a horrible number for a backup. From the outside looking in, it may seem as if this was a six in one, half dozen in the other transfer, replacing one 30+ year old keeper with another, but upon further look, Agazzi has appeared in more matches than Amelia, as of lately and could very well work his way into a starting role as Abbiati climbs closer to 40 years old. Grade: B-
Alex may be exactly what the doctor ordered for Milan, as he provides strength and shooting ability to a back four that was flimsy to say the least in 2013/2014. “The Tank” could very well pair up with Rami in the center instead of a declining Philippe Mexes and Daniele Bonera among others. Moreover, his powerful free kicks can add much needed versatility to Milan’s set pieces. Milan had a stagnant offense last season, and their defense was not much better. With the signing of the 32 year old Brazilian, both sides of the ball got a much needed upgrade. Grade: B+
Jeremy Menez is arguably the best signing for Milan based on team needs, as he is a two-way player with tremendous playmaking ability. Menez is incredibly quick, and his wing-play abilities at the midfield will be tremendous for counter-attacking and getting the offense moving, especially with the help he will get from fullbacks Ignazio Abate and Mattia De Sciglio. As stated with Alex, Milan had a stagnant offense this past season, not due so much to the inabilities of the forwards, rather the liabilities in the midfield. Menez should mesh marvelously with the other midfielders and will be able to establish width, energy and speed to the offensive attack. Grade: A
Last season, Milan had issues brought to light in all aspects of their game, and thus far into the transfer season they have done a remarkable job of addressing those issues. No single player can win matches for a team, and that is the beauty of these signings: Milan did not sign superstars, they signed team-oriented players who will help the team gel, generate chances and ultimately win matches.