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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Who Do Milan Need For The Second Half Of The Season?

Milan started the 2011-12 season on a very poor note, with heavy losses to Juventus and Napoli and weak draws against both Udinese and Lazio. These dismal results could possibly be attributed to the injury crisis that affected the Rossoneri up until October. Robinho's return to the squad was a big boost to the team when they hosted Palermo, a turning point in the season. The Brazilian was influential in that particular game, but has failed to replicate that performance thereafter.

Milan's midfield hasn't been the most efficient in Italy this season. Barring Antonio Nocerino and Kevin Prince Boateng, Milan's midfield has been very sluggish. The likes of Clarence Seedorf and Alberto Aquilani have failed to support in attack, while the experienced duo of Massimo Ambrosini and Mark van Bommel have been abysmal with their defensive duties. In attack, Milan have been far too reliant on Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Big Swede has scored 11 goals in the Serie A so far, and provided 2 assists. Antonio Cassano was in top form at the start of the season, but his illness has put him on the sidelines till the end of the season. Pato and Robinho have left a lot to be desired. Defensively, Milan have looked a little shabby when compared to last season. Thiago Silva and Ignazio Abate have been shining stars so far, while Nesta has shown his brilliance in spurts. The main worry, one that has haunted Milan for the last few years, is that left side of defence. Gianluca Zambrotta is clearly past his prime, Luca Antonini should be playing in the Serie B and Taye Taiwo hasn't been able to fit in, primarily because of Max Allegri's stubbornness towards starting the former Marseille man.

Adriano Galliani clearly has a good amount of work to do when the transfer window opens in January. Here is a look at some possibly useful signings that Milan could look to complete.


CARLOS TEVEZ


Goodbye Etihad?

The 27 year old hasn't made an appearance for Manchester City in over three months now. Following his spat with coach Roberto Mancini in September this year, rumours of Tevez moving to Italy have been rampant in the media. Milan are more than willing to welcome the bullish striker and City are extremely keen on letting him go. The only obstacle is the transfer policy of the two clubs.

Milan want Tevez on a loan deal in January, while City want someone to buy the player outright. Talks have been going on for about a month now, and rumours have begun to surface that City are willing to let the player go on loan, but have included a clause which forces Milan to buy Tevez at the end of the season.

Taming Tevez should be no problem for Allegri, as he has managed to subdue the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Cassano with a fair amount of ease. Tevez will probably start alongside Ibra in attack, forming one of the most potent attacking duos in Europe. If Milan do manage to seal this deal, Serie A number 19 seems imminent.

ALY CISSOKHO

Milan's most important requirement

All of us Milan fans will remember the summer of 2009, when the club announced that then Porto defender Aly Cissokho had been signed, only to find out a couple of days later that the player had failed his medical due to a TOOTH PROBLEM! This failure to sign the Frenchman has dearly cost the Rossoneri over the last two years, especially in the UEFA Champions League.

Milan have not shown any interest recently, but the likes of Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund have spoken about signing the 24 year old. Milan need him a lot more than the aforementioned teams. There is no way that Zambrotta or Antonini can be used in any tournament other than the Coppa Italia. Taiwo has not been given enough exposure this season and his inability to defend is being exposed by the better wingers in the Serie A.

Cissokho would be an ideal solution to the left-back problem. He is fairly sound in defence and can be a really menace while attacking. Abate and Cissokho could possibly become one of the most dangerous pair of wing backs in the continent.


SVEN BENDER



High work rate, clean tackling, good passing ability and a great game sense. Milan need a player with these qualities to replace the aging Van Bommel. I can't find a more perfect player for this role than Dortmund's Sven Bender. At the ripe age of 22, Bender will provide Milan's midfield with a great deal of spirit, something they've lacked for the last few years.

His passing ability is fairly good, while he also has a decent shot. He would perfectly compliment the likes of Nocerino and Aquilani. Even if Bender does not make his way into Allegri's starting XI this season, he would be a very important buy for the future.

The only problem with this deal will be Dortmund's willingness to let go of the youngster. They have struggled to cope with the loss of former captain Nuri Sahin, and will be very weary of losing another influential midfielder. Milan could look to send Alexander Merkel or Rodney Strasser the other way, in order to bring Sven to Italy.

RADJA NAINGGOLAN





The signing of Radja Nainggolan this January is a mere dream. Firstly, it will be impossible to convince Cagliari president Massimo Cellino to let go of his prized possession. And secondly, Cellino is not the biggest fan of Milan coach Max Allegri.

At the moment, this transfer is far from reality. But that does not stop me from dreaming. Aquilani has been pathetic this season. His support in attack has been below average, while his attempts at defending have been terrifying. I really hope Galliani does not sign Aquilani for good at the end of this season.

Nainggolan would be a far better player on that right side of midfield. Far more threatening in attack, an immensely superior work rate and the ability to win the ball legally off an opponent, everything points in favour of the 23 year old Belgian. Not the most realistic and crucial signing, but one that must be completed quick. The last thing Milan would want is to see this kid turn into a superstar at Inter or Juventus!




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