What do Milan need in the January Transfer Window?


THE JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW is open, and Milan have already officially completed the signing of Antonio Cassano! However, Massimiliano Allegri has already confirmed that Milan will make at least 1 more signing – a midfielder – but just what do the Rossoneri need in January?

So far, Milan are top of the league just past the half way stage – with 5 points between them and second placed Lazio. This does not mean that reinforcements are not needed though – particularly if Milan are to remain competitive in the champions league, since keeping key players fresh thanks to the added depth would help significantly in europe too.

On the right is the current Milan lineup – granted rotation and injuries etc will cause some changes from week to week, but that’s a typical first XI (you’ll note I’ve placed Pirlo in the LCM role since I believe he’s been most effective there) so let’s do a breakdown of the current first team squad – and the areas which are strongest and weakest.

A typical Milan starting XI

Well first of all let’s look at the strikers- Ibrahimovic has been fantastic, and whilst Robinho’s finishing is still inconsitent his overall play was good even before he started scoring, and he’s doing well defensively too. Pato has been a bit less consistent, but he’s had some injury problems and so has been unable to get a really good run of games going.

Now that Cassano has come in and is able to play Am or up front, I do think Milan are fairly well stocked in the area – the only thing I could see happening is maybe a move for an experience backup center forward – but it would have to be a player with good hold up play and a tall physique, to give Milan a focal point when Ibrahimovi isn’t able to play.

In the attacking midfield area, Boateng has played well and almost cemnted the spot before getting injured – whilst Ronaldinho is set to depart, Cassano can play there, and Seedorf can (and has) too. I do think Milan need a creative player, but not strictly a trequartista, a more versatile player who can play both CM and AM is needed, perhaps Allegri’s old player Andrea Lazzari – whose name has been brought up.

Now the CM’s and I re-iterate the idea that Milan need to bring someone in here – it seems Massimiliano Allegri is already 1 step ahead though, announcing to the press that Milan will be signing a midfielder this transfer window. Pirlo is having a good season once more – who can forget his goal against Parma – but he’s Milan’s only real creative player.

Clarence Seedorf on his day is also excellent creatively, but with his decline and lack of form it seems these matches are few and far between, and it’s perhaps too much to ask of him to be the second main source of creativity. Whilst it would be better to get a more versatile midfielder, Kaka’s name has been thrown in to the hat – heavily linked with a loan return, could he be an answer? Maybe but there’s no telling what level he’d be at and do Milan once more want to bring back a former star in the hope of him being able to do the business again?

The DM slot is one of Milan’s other strong points. Gennaro Gattuso is having an excellent season – despite looking finished last season, the italian has seemingly gotten over his injury at last, and has adapted to his loss of speed and mobility well, whilst Massimo Ambrosini has also been a very good anchor once more. Young Rodney Strasser has been getting some more time – and definitely made an impact against Cagliari – whilst Mathieu Flamini finally looks more like the player he was at Arsenal.

Now on to one of Milan’s weakest points, the left back area. Whilst Zambrotta has some decent games he’s too old to be relied upon to produce consistently, and despite being quite pacey and decent going forward, Luca Antonini is not very good defensivley. Quite frankly the other left backs at the club are not good enough, and I think it’s necessary for Milan to either buy a left back now, or at the latest in the summer – Fabio Coentrao has been mentioned a lot, as well as the likes of Ziegler etc too.

On the other side though, Ignazio Abate has shown great improvement – he’s young, fast and has remarkably improved on his crossing and defending – apparently he had some 1 to 1 training with Assistant Manager Mauro Tassotti – who was of course the right back of the greatest defence of all time – and it showed with his perfomance against Real Madrid (where Abate managed to keep Ronaldo quiet, albeit with a little help from Gattuso)

In the center back area, Milan are once more fairly well stocked. Nesta and Thiago Silva are one of the best defensive pairings in the world, and although Nesta’s getting on a bit and has been a bit less consistent, he’s still been very good, whilst it seems Thiago Silva has stepped up to make up for it too! Bonera and Yepes are two good backup center backs, and like up front, I can’t see much happening here.

What Milan’s lineup could be with some signings in Jauary

The only possibility is if Galliani manages to bring in someone like Mexes for a cut price (his contract is up in the summer) or if Milan secure a deal for Nesta’s successor early. Someone like David Luiz (who would link well with Silva) or Mahmadou Sakho would be an excellent replacement, though I think this might be one for the summer too – unless they want to play at left back temporarily (which both players have done at times for their clubs)

Lastly is the goalkeeping situation. christian Abbiati has had a decent season, he’s made some errors at times, but has also pulled off some excellent saves. Personally I think Milan should have a better goalkeeper, but he’s not so poor that it’s an issue that needs to be dealt with instantly – once more this is something I think would be best placed dealt with in the summer.

You may notice that a few issues should be dealt with in the summer, and it might be worrying since Milan haven’t made a large net spend in a few years, however several contracts expire at the end of the season, and Galliani has made comments in the past about the plan to rejuvenate and reinforce in the summer as a result of it.

So, what could Milan’s team look like? After the January transfer window, Milan could lineup with a back 4 of Abate, Nesta, Silva and Coentrao in front of Christian Abbiati. The midfield could be made up of Pirlo, Gattuso and Lazzari, behind Cassano, Pato and Ibrahimovic up front. It’s important to remember that these players would rotate with the likes of Boateng, Ambrosini, Robinho, Flamini etc – provinding excellent strength in depth and a squad capable of challenging on all fronts.

Milan already have one of the strongest squads in Italy, and despite a difficult tie with Spurs in the Champions League, the Rossoneri should be fairly competitive at least already, but with these additions the team could move up a level, and maybe even run away with the league! What the future holds for Milan in the transfer window we shall have to wait and see, but it’s bound to be an interesting month, so sit back, relax and enjoy the show!

By Hefin Davies, Rossoneri Blog

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Great article. Hope Milan converts though.


sorry hefin davies but i really think your wrong. Montelongo and Oddo were just outstanding against al ahly but yes it was just a frinedly but shouldn’t they be given a chance. with Merkel well i just like him don’t know why but he is just good in my mind. Strasser same as Merkel. not having cassano no problem super sub. Boateng in LCM is his 2nd best position. Silva in defencive midfield i think is absolutely fine and put Yepes in defence with Nesta Yepes is better than Bonera. Finally Ibra and pato i just think their better than… Read more »


Don’t care who comes n goes! love this team regardless 😀


Dominic Criscito(lb) and Luca Cigarini (cm) for this january and we will be champions league contenders 🙂


The team needs quality full backs and a decent centre back for if Silva or Nesta are injured. The midfield will tick along nicely now considering the amount of players we have for the centre of the park, a luxury I can’t even remember us having during the days when this Milan team were actually feared throughout Italy and Europe. Abate has come on well this season, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not the kind of world class player we need. on the other side, well, Zambro is decent but as a utility player, Antonini is playing worse then… Read more »


hefin davies

not to be rude but montelongo did move to left back when oddo came off (oduamadi on). yes you are right about montelongo but boateng did play in defensive midfield for a fairly small time in the world cup and quite often for portsmith. silva yes and no

Yes: he is amazing in defence

no: he attacks so well for a centre back


Hefin I totally agree. I’m actually tired of the complainers who want to buy everyone on January like a new CB and to start with merkel or strasser. try aren’t ready yet ad shouldn’t be forced an I think all we need is an AM and a quality all around lb. coentrao would be good but expensive and he may be a great attacking fullback but is he much of a step up to antonini in defending. we must remember that he used to be a winger and is a lot like bale and with an pirlo an gattuso we… Read more »


the second formation is the one that will win everything.
the only players that we should buy in January are Coentrao and Lazzari.
Also sometimes Gattuso can be replaced by Strasser or Flamini




I agree with Hefin. Silva currently is one of the best CB in the world & I believe right now it’d be easier to find a good DM than a CB. As for the new lineup, I think Coentrao would be a perfect addition to the squad though I still think that the lineup seems less balanced than the current one. I mean, Cassano & Lazzari surely offer more promising offense but Boateng & Flamini add more balance to the team. But regardless of the lineup, I do agree that Coentrao & Lazzari would be the perfect players for Milan… Read more »


——————-joe hart—————-
abate——-nesta——–t.silva——–van der wiel

subs: (GK) roma, amelia, (DF) yepes, david luiz, (FB) zambrotta, antonini, (MD) flamini, gattuso, merkel, pirlo, (ST) cassano, beretta, verdi.


ok hefin davies

how about this lineup








LB : Javier Santon ( inter )
CB : Astori ( cagliari ) but Albertazzi Is OK,,
RB : Van der Weil ( Ajax ),S. Kelly ( Liperpool )


Mario Fernandes-Nesta-Silva-Zambrotta


@Hefin Davies

Your starting to get annoying now, its ‘arya’ opinion to put players on his dream formation. Hefin Davies you just tell arya fix this up in every comment that arya makes. its his life he can do whatever he wants, if you think that your soooo good at correcting formations out! THEN WHY AREN’T YOU THE MANGER OF AC Milan??!!!


Milan would do well with another midfielder, Lazzari is not a bad option at a cheap price but he has been inconsistent and look nothing like he did last season. Maybe reuniting with Allegri would do him good but my first option in midfield is GANSO. Lamela is a great investment as he reminds me of Kaka. So GANSO or LAMELA would be great for the midfield. As for the left back I am not a fan of Coentrao because he is not good defensively. Criscito or Aly Cissokho is my first pick for left back. Either one is fine.… Read more »


aww please lawrd, just get rid of seedorf. thats all im asking, + get coentrao 🙂


heyn what about taiwo hes pretty good




———————–Ambrosini (flamini)———————




Zambrota, Oddo, …… all of them too old. We need youngter, faster and stronger mans.


Boateng is not mature enough to start for Milan. As soon as the team takes the lead he begins incessantly (and INaccurately) back-heeling the ball…he needs at least a year to play with the intelligent creativity that Milan must have.




This would be my Milan for next season:

———————-Diego Alves———————

L. Baines———–Rafael Toloi————-Silva——-Aly Cissokho
———————–Ambrosini (flamini)———————







Abate – Nesta – T.Silva – Zambrotta.

Lazzari – Pirlo – Ambrosini.


Pato – Ibrahimovic.



Abate – Coates – T.Silva – Coentrão.

Lazzari – Andrea Pirlo – Ganso.


Pato – Ibrahimovic.

other buys: Lamela.


nice article, great analysis of every line in the team.
Having new coach and players to the squad really needs time to blend and gel into one perfect combination.
Looking at past 6 months, and compared with same period last year, i could see that Milan management now trying to take different approach, signing quality players and try to rejuvenate the squad.
I hope what this article says can give us some view points about the transfer strategy and of course, just sit back and see what is the outcome in few weeks.
Go Rossoneri !!


GK Lloris, Neuer
RB Santon, VanderWiel, De Silvestri
CB Kompany, Luiz, Sakho, Vertonghen
LB Cristico, Coentrão, Cissokho
DM Medel, L.Diarra
CM Banega, Sahin, Poli, Moussa Sissoko
AM Ganso, Pastore, Llicic
LW Dzsudzsák, Turan
RW Hazard, Navas
ST Barrios, Suarez
Options: i’ll get Sahin, he is very verstalie
or other options: Albertazzi, De Vito, Fossati, Verdi, Beretta, Merkel, Strasser


A midfielder who has a good eye. It is essential for us to face good teams.


poli and cristico are enough
italian and talented


i think milan should not buy but promote our tough-tackler left-back;Andrea De Vito
—-abate—nesta—–t.silva–de vito–
this is the squad of the Italian Champion!


@michael What i see i would want Milan to get on This Year (January,Summer) Stekelenburg or Neuer as GK VanderWiel as RB or try to snatch Santon. Sakho as CB, he has leader spirit in himself, only 20 years old so… and he is not expensive. Coentrao is a MUST LB for us. And i would like to get some Young, Famous youngster like: Ganso,Lamela,Neymar,Piazon,Sahin,Poli. DREAM !!! Please Berlusconi be NICE 😀 WE REALLY, REALLY NEED CB in Summer, LB in January, RB Hopefully in Summer, and if we are gonna go on the top again we need a world… Read more »


hi guys we need Ganso/David De Gea and david luiz………..
David De Gea
abati david luiz thiago silva antonini

Ganso pirlo boateng

pato cassano


We do not need Lazarri!!! We Need Mexes (or a decent lb) and we need Pirlos successor i.e. Poli/Sahin!


AKA69 look it’s ok what hefin davies says about my lineups.

also just to say ive been working for a football development.


How I wish there were a time machine which we can use to get back Maldini from his peak. Cb and Lb wouldn’t be a problem then. And maybe rejuvenate Pirlo and Sheva? Those were the days.






I’m almost sure that we’ll get a midfilder this winter who can play attacking, defending, creative, and a good backup on the bench (like it was Brocchi for many years). I think it’d be Lazzari, that’s the most popular, and Allegri likes him. The LB is the place where we’re the worst, but now I can’t see anybody, who could help us. I don’t like Coentrao’s defending play, albeit he’s good in offense. So the player who will arrive soon is a midfilder. In summer, I’m almost sure that we’ll get Mexes, and another Midfilder (like Constant, Ganso, or Lamela),… Read more »


druno—-silva———nesta—–de vito


Bill_ARIS Salonica

In my opinion MILAN need a 4-3-3 formation…

Abbiati,Zambrotta(right),Antonini(left),Thiago Silva and Nesta,Pirlo-Seedorf(defensive midfielders),Cassano(attacking midfielder),Robinho(left winger),Pato(right winger),IBRA as STRIKER…


_________Abbiati_________ Abate_Sakho_Silva_Criscito __________Mvila___________ Eriksen___________Flamini _________Lamela_________ ______Pato__Ibrahimovic