From 'defects' against Napoli to Desailly comparisons: Why AC Milan must buy Bakayoko

03 December at 18:25
5 million as a loan fee and a 35 million option to buy at the end of the season. These are the figures of the operation that brought Bakayoko to AC Milan from Chelsea after a disappointing season at the Stamford Bridge, despite arriving from Monaco for 42 million the summer before.

Director Leonardo strongly believed in the player, who was devastating in the 2016/17 season and was hoping to be able to bring the player back to those level at the San Siro. At first, the best seemed to be lost, as after the first match against Napoli, coach Gattuso said that Bakayoko 'has defects'. The Frenchman was awkward on the field, inaccurate and shy and there were even rumours of a return to Chelsea in January.

However, then the turning point arrived. Biglia and Bonaventura got sidelined for a long period of time and Gattuso was forced to use Bakayoko constantly. And from the ugly duckling, the midfielder turned into a swan, becoming a midfielder of great physical quality that has been missing at AC Milan for years.

Gennaro Gattuso, who rarely throws himself in comparisons or excessive words, expressed himself clearly. "At a tactical level, he's surprising me, he strongly believed in what we showed him. With my assistant we said he reminds us of Desailly, even if maybe Bakayoko is even more technical," the coach said.

On the one hand, it is necessary to keep the feet on the ground, but on the other, it is impossible not to consider the exponential growth of Bakayoko. Against Parma, the player dominated the midfield, intercepting balls and winning many duels. For years, Milan have suffered physically in the midfield, having players of quality but often physically insufficient. With Bakayoko and Kessie, the music has changed completely.

If Bakayoko were to continue with this pace and Milan had the money to spend, giving up the player would be very unlikely. It would be a fantastic investment for a player that has been missing at the San Siro for years now. And if Bakayoko and Kessie were joined by a third midfielder of quality, the Rossoneri​ could sleep peacefully with a guaranteed midfield for many years.
Nikita Fesyukov

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