AC Milan Firesale Ushers in New Era of Star-less Serie A
It was reported yesterday that AC Milan reached an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain for Thiago Silva who will soon be joined by teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a combined profit of €62 million (€42 million for the Brazilian defender and €20 million for the Swedish sensation). The French outfit had been after these two players for a while now but Silvio Berlusconi always rejected PSG’s offers.
It seemed that nothing would be done especially when Berlusconi pulled the plug on a deal earlier this summer worth €47million for the Brazilian international. He was labeled a hero knowing that his beloved Milan were in the red causing the former Prime Minister to close the club’s large deficit out of his own pocket. Now, the combination of an aging team (those many players who formed the victorious old guard such as Seedorf, Nesta, Gattuso who have all left the club), the duty to rejuvenate the side and with Italy’s economic crisis in full effect, it’s now time to sell some of Serie A’s stars in order to make ends meet. PSG had already stripped Serie A of talented youngsters such as Javier Pastore, Salvatore Sirigu, Sissoko (not that talented), as well as recently stealing Ezequiel Lavezzi away from Napoli.
My opinion: Ibra at the age of 31 is a good sale. The man will not be getting better at this age and it was the right move to make at the right time. Berlusconi can replace the powerful Swede with the likes of Manchester City strikers Edin Dzeko or Calos Tevez who was being linked with a move to the San Siro in January, or even the unproven Andy Carrol of Liverpool. Thiago silva, on the other hand, is irreplaceable. Currently dubbed as the world’s best central defender, it will be very tough for Milan to replace him for the price they will be willing to pay. I really hoped they could have held on to the 27 year old Thiago Silva for a few more years.
The news for the Rossoneri faithful isn’t getting any better as reports today suggest that even Robinho could also be on the chopping block. The Diavolo patron will consider giving away the Brazilian should an offer of at least €15million be tabled.
With the sales of Ibra and Thiago Silva, AC Milan will save €170 million on wages and transfer fees on these two players alone. The financial crisis in Italy has taken a toll on the Serie A as Italian club owners are struggling to compete with these sheiks who I believe do not understand soccer and spend their money like its candy.
The only positive coming out of this major issue is that maybe it’s time to use and develop young talent from the youth teams which will in turn help the national team stay competitive. This will inevitably cause Italian clubs to suffer in European competitions for some time but hopefully the Italians will be able to reap the benefits once these players are a little older (just like Barcelona did). But, this is a different issue for a different day.
Here are a few names that the Serie A has lost since the crisis began two years ago: Mario Balotelli, Ezeguiel Lavezzi, Thiago Motta, Domenico Criscito, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Samuel Eto’o, Javier Pastore, Alberto Aquiliani, young Italian international and Fabio Borini.
…and that’s the last word.