It has been a decade to forget for AC Milan, a team who were once a powerhouse in both domestic and European football. They’ve finished outside the top four in Italy in the past four consecutive seasons, even as low as tenth in 2014/15, and have picked up just one major trophy in the past decade.
Their last trophy in Europe was a Champions League victory in 2006/07 that seems so long ago, a night when Filippo Inzaghi scored twice against Liverpool to give his side a glorious 2-1 win in Athens.
Milan’s last Serie A title is also a fading memory, coming in the 2010/11 season where they tipped rivals Inter to the top spot, before Juventus embarked on a period of unrivalled dominance.
Last season, Milan finished 6th in the Serie A, 28 points behind league winners and Champions League finalists Juventus. However, now under their new Chinese owners, Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux, the club have been spending big to try to regain their status in global club football.
Making their ambitions known
Silvio Berlusconi, the club’s former owner and ex-Italian Prime Minister, sold the seven-time European champions to the Chinese investors for £628m (€740m) in April this year after over 30 years in charge at Milan.
The deal Berlusconi struck with the Chinese billionaires reportedly required the new owners to spend €350m on bringing in new talent to try and reshape his former club.
“I’ve never known a summer like this,” said Milan midfielder, Giacomo Bonaventura. “We’ve bought players who, at the start of the transfer window, you think ‘yeah it’d be nice if they came’… well they really did come!”
So far this transfer window, Milan have managed to bring in Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus (£35.70m), André Silva from Porto (£32.30m), Andrea Conti from Atalanta (£21.25m), Hakan Calhanoglu from Bayern Luvakusan (£18.70m), Mateo Musacchio from Wolfsburg (£15.30m), Lucas Biglia from Lazio (£14.45m), Antonio Donnarumma from Asteras Tripoli (£1.23m) and two loanees in Franck Kessié also from Atalanta and Fabio Borini from Sunderland.
Milan’s summer signings have already totalled over £150m, showing everyone in the Serie A and the rest of world that the club have serious intentions to compete as one of the best in Europe once again.
Is Montella the manager to do so?
Milan’s head coach Vincenzo Montella has stated that anything below Champions League qualification is a failure for his side next season and that he wants “to be the one that brings the club back among the top five in the world”.
Despite the excitement and enthusiasm surrounding the club right now, it will be a tough job for Montella and his coaching staff to unite his new players and have them playing to his tune in such a short space of time.
Yet, whether it is Montella or another coach, we have seen with clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain that in football money talks and with the spending ability backed by new ownership, we could see Milan’s rise to the top again in the near future.
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