Over the last few years, once-mighty AC Milan have faded into the background of Serie A and European soccer. In recent years they’ve seen traditionally less successful teams like Napoli and Roma vault over them in both league position and stature, beating them both with results on the pitch and off it with transfers. Now, with a brand new ownership team and loads of cash to spend, the Rossoneri are looking to turn their fortunes around, and it starts with this summer's transfer window. We're barely into June already, but it looks like they're serious about getting back to the top, having already tied down Atalanta's Franck Kessie, Villarreal's Matteo Musacchio, and Wolfsburg's Ricardo Rodriguez. They're not done in the transfer market yet, but how good is the business they've done so far?
Franck Kessie - A+
Milan staved off interest from a number of Premier League clubs and big names around Europe to sign Franck Kessie in what might prove to be one of the most important transfers of the summer. The Ivorian midfielder is only 20 years old, but established himself as one of Serie A's brightest talents with his incredible engine, intelligent distribution and all-around versatility. Milan haven't had a central midfielder with his skill set in years, and by tying him down to a 2-year loan with a forced option to buy, it works extremely favorably for their financials as well by spreading the payments over an extended period of time.
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Mateo Musacchio - B
Mateo Musacchio is probably the biggest gamble of Milan's three signings. The 26-year-old Argentine defender arrives for €18 million, and will partner Alessio Romagnoli in the center of their defense. A strong overall defender and good reader of the game, Musacchio was part of the defense that conceded the second-fewest goals in La Liga. He will likely slot right into Milan's side, but a big issue will be keeping him healthy throughout the year. If he can form a good partnership with Romagnoli and stay healthy though, he could prove to be one of the bargains of the season.
Ricardo Rodriguez - B+
24-year-old defender Ricardo Rodriguez also arrives for a fee of €18 million, signing a four-year deal after nearly six years in a VfL Wolfsburg shirt. He was part of the team that was nearly relegated this season, and went through an up-and-down campaign, but was still highly sought after by a number of Europe's top clubs. In Rodriguez, Milan are getting a solid one-on-one defender with good attacking instincts who is most comfortable as a left back, but can play through the center of defense as well. The Swiss international has incredible experience already, with 45 caps to his name, and years as a starter in the Bundesliga.
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Overall Grade: A
Milan clearly mean business. Each one of their new signings fits a direct need, they're all under the age of 26, and they fought off interest from other big clubs around Europe to secure their services. It's only the start of this summer's transfer window, but with these signings, they already look amongst the favorites to secure Champions League qualification next year, and with some further work on the market, they could just push Juventus for the Serie A title. Things are looking distinctly positive for the red half of Milan.
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