Five (Plus One) Players That Milan Sold Too Soon

It’s been a mostly quiet summer at Milanello so far. After finishing the last campaign on a relatively high note with a runners up spot, Milan fans were left with a sour taste in their mouths following the departures of Hakan Calhanoglu (towards their crosstown rivals) and more importantly Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Nonetheless, these exits were highly expected, and the management instead focused mostly on securing the services of some the players who impressed whilst on loan last season.

Most Rossoneri fans are satisfied with the work done by club directors Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara, but things were far less bright during the previous regimes.

So let’s take a look at five (or more accurately six) players who were sold by the Diavolo too soon, as they went on to shine elsewhere.

5- André Silva

In 2017, the Portuguese’s arrival to Milan was considered to be one of the best coups of the Italian calciomercato. The young striker was only 21, and already sought after by the big European guns.

Unfortunately for the former Porto man, he got lost in the shuffle in the club’s outrageous spending spree during that summer (sponsored by the Chinese ex-owners), and the he was simply unable to settle during that chaotic season.

When it came to grooming young players, Milan were inpatient during that period, and Silva was sent on loan to Sevilla, before reigniting his career at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Even though the Italians got Ante Rebic in exchange, the Portugal international arguably had a bigger potential.

4- Francesco Acerbi

After impressing as an up and coming defender at Chievo, the Italian earned a transfer to San Siro in 2012. But after just six months and ten appearances, Milan sent him packing.

The Azzurri international had to overcome this major disappointment, as well as some serious health issues, to rebuild his playing career as he managed to become a pillar for Sassuolo and then Lazio, and even took part in Italy’s triumphant Euro 2020 campaign.

The Rossoneri probably felt that the center back wasn’t at the required level at the time, but after witnessing some horrendous defensive displays in the following years, Acerbi doesn’t look that bad after all.

3- Bryan Cristante

Our second Euro 2020 winner on the list, but he won’t be the last. The midfielder rose the scene as a teenager who got promoted from the club’s primavera to the first team.

Cristante played five matches for Milan, and the management decided to immediately cash in on his talent, accepting a transfer bid from Benfica.

The Italian was only 19 at the time, and struggled to find his feet in the next few seasons, before being rescued by Gian Piero Gasperini, who gave the chance to shine for Atalanta, before sealing a big money move to Roma.

2- Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva

Whilst the list is almost entirely made up of young players who weren’t given a proper chance by the Diavolo, here’s something completely different.

So technically these are two MAJOR stars packed in one entry. Amidst the summer of 2012, Milan were enduring a massive change of guard, with the likes of Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso and Alessandro Nesta all contemplating retirement.

One would think that maintaining their captain and their biggest star would be mandatory at that point. Nonetheless, the management was facing some massive financial troubles in the final years of the Silvio Berlusconi era, and both Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva were sold to PSG.

Perhaps the directors thought that selling two players who would only play top-level football for few more years would turn to be a wise decision, but the fact that these two veterans are still able to contribute for the biggest clubs in Europe proves otherwise.

Moreover, this sale arguably marked the beginning of Milan’s dark age.

1- Manuel Locatelli

Whilst the previous entry could be justified by financial difficulties, this one earns the top spot because it’s much less explicable.

Locatelli’s case is very similar Cristante’s, but unlike the latter, the 23-year-old managed to break through the first lineup and his performances were highly impressive for a teenager.

For one reason or another, Milan decided to let him leave towards Sassuolo in 2018, a decision that they surely regret following his recent exploits, as well as his expected transfer to their rivals Juventus.

Read More – Five Serie A Players That Juventus Sold Too Soon