BIG PLAYERS Milan made the mistake of letting go: Pirlo and Huntelaar are two of them, believes Daniel Gutman.
There have been many questionable transfers made by Milan lately, most recently Matri being purchased at the expense of letting go Boateng. But these aren’t the only, and by no means the biggest transfer mistakes that Milan have made.
They have, in the past several years, let go of players who are now stars at other clubs because they weren’t “good enough”.
1. Andrea Pirlo
This one is fairly obvious. Pirlo joined Milan from Inter in 2001 for a sum of €18 million. After a decade of service which yielded two Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups, two Scudetti, one Club World Cup, one Coppa Italia, and one Italian Super Cup, he switched Milan for Juventus in 2011 after only appearing 17 times for the Rossoneri in his last season. Why did he leave? Because he was being frozen out of the team, due to the fact that Allegri preferred the now retired Mark van Bommel in Pirlo’s position. Obviously, Pirlo was not in fact at the end of his career, which apparently was Allegri’s mindset. He is playing great football at Juventus and is still plying his trade for the Azzurri. Had he not left, Milan would possess a playmaker that undoubtedly would see to the club sitting a lot higher in the table.
2. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Huntelaar joined Milan from Real Madrid in 2009 for €15 million. After establishing himself as one of the Eridivise’s top players, things didn’t go quite right after his transfer to Madrid. He scored 8 goals in 20 appearances after signing in January. He was offloaded to Milan, where he went on to play second fiddle to first Marco Borriello and then Filippo Inzaghi in his only year at the club. In his limited 25 appearances, a bulk of which were substitutions, he scored 7 goals. He was then sold to Schalke for €14 million after being deemed surplus to requirements. But hey, it’s not like he is doing well at Schalke, so it’s ok right? Well, not exactly. In his first season he scored 13 goals. But in now his second he went bezerk, going on to score 48 goals in 48 appearances for Schalke. He is Schalke’s record goalscorer in European competition, with 17 goals. Huntelaar is also a prolific international scorer, with 34 goals from 59 caps. Not bad for a 3rd choice Milan striker…
3. Pierre-Emmerick Aubameyang
The Gabon international was a product of the Milan youth academy. In his three years playing senior football, he was loaned out 3 times, eventually signing with Saint-Etienne in 2011, who he played for on loan the previous season. Not given a chance at Milan whatsoever, he went on to score 35 goals in two seasons for the French club, earning a transfer to CL finalists Borussia Dortmund. In his first match, he scored more goals than the amount of appearances he had for the Milan senior team. He has so far scored 10 goals for the German giants. For Gabon, Aubameyang has scored 12 goals in 34 matches.
These are just players that come to mind when I think about transfers I would reverse if I could. But there are other transfer mistakes Milan have made. What are your picks? Let me know in the comments!