Gone are the days when Italian football clubs dominated the game. Heavyweights like AC Milan – bankrolled by the billions of media mogul and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, became arguably one of the most successful teams in Europe in the 1990s and 2000s as they were able to attract some of the best and biggest players around.
Five Champions League titles between 1989 and 2007 was a reality with names like Paolo Maldini, Marco van Basten, Cafu, Dida, Alessandro Nesta, Clarence Seedorf, Kaka, Fillipo Inzaghi, Andrey Schevchenko and a host of superstars.
Those glory days seem distant as Milan have struggled to assert any form of dominance both in the Serie A and Europe. The last time the men in red and black stripes qualified for the Champions League was in 2013/2014 and since the 2012/2013 season, they’ve finished below the top six in the league.
Milan’s decline has given room for Juventus to hold a firm grip on the Serie A as they’ve claimed it for the past six seasons in a row.
The Rossoneri have not been able to attract high end names like they once did thanks to the economic crisis that hit Italy. This affected Berlusconi’s media empire. The politician was also embroiled in corruption scandals.
Things however seem to be coming back together for the San Siro outfit under the new ownership of Chinese investor Li Younghong and have also shown signs of progress under current manager Vincenzo Montella. Milan finished sixth last term and will be participating in the Uefa Europa League.
The seven-time European champions have caught the attention of the football world with some of their acquisitions this summer. In what has been a busy transfer window, Milan have already secured the signings of Mateo Musacchio, Ricardo Rodriguez, Andre Silva, Hakan Calhanoglu, Franck Kessie, Fabio Borini, Andre Conti and Lucas Biglia. In what many didn’t see coming, Montella’s team have also signed experienced Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus.
Milan are also reported to be in talks with Bayern Munich to bring Portuguese youngster Renato Sanches to the San Siro on loan. Prolific striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is seeking a move away from Borussia Dortmund, has also been rumoured to make a return to the club where his football career began.
Milan’s net spend so far in this transfer window is around €200 million and they don’t seem to have finished business yet.
If we put all this into context, one might be tempted to think the Rossoneri will challenge for the Serie A title for the first time in six seasons but all these signings might still not spark the needed revival.
The current Milan squad, bar the new arrivals, still boast of the likes of Alessio Romagnoli, Riccardo Montolivo, Suso and Carlos Bacca, but their talent has failed to deliver the results.
Could that be the case again with the new players?
If AC Milan doesn’t show any improvements in the upcoming campaign despite their massive player recruitment this summer, is there anything else that could bring them out of the shadows?
How do you see Milan performing with their new signings? Drop your comments below.
Photo Source: Getty Images and AC Milan