It is fair to say that the Italian giants AC Milan have been in terminal decline for a while now.
Since the departure of now Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri in early 2014, the club has undergone a period of deep turmoil, failing to qualify for Europe since their dismal 2013-14 campaign and resorting to ruthless methods in terms of managerial longevity. Six managers have come and gone in that time frame and that reflects poorly on a club that once took the European stage by a storm.
It can hardly be argued that their squad has fallen way below the standard that was once deemed acceptable at the San Siro and must be infused with players of a higher calibre. Strikers Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano have made a strong impression for the Milanese powerhouse but require some assistance from their colleagues, who at best appear to be mediocre as a unit.
In terms of strengthening it further, they do have the January transfer window to look forward to and must be proactive if they aspire to return to the Europa League at the very least. For that purpose, they may seek to sign two players who have fallen out of favour with their respective clubs in the Premier League, Memphis Depay and Cesc Fabregas.
Signed on a multi-million pound deal from PSV Eindhoven last summer, Depay’s career at Manchester United has stalled drastically. Out of favour and out of form, his involvement with the national team has taken a major hit as well and judging the current state of affairs at Old Trafford, it is unlikely the Dutchman will return to the playing roster managed by Jose Mourinho.
On the other hand, Fabregas has been a Premier League winner for Chelsea and was a vital cog in their success in 2015. His trajectory has hit a downward spiral ever since and in the aftermath of new manager Antonio Conte’s tactical rejig, it has become increasingly clear that Fabregas is no longer the important squad member he once was at Stamford Bridge and may seek a move as early to January to reinvigorate his career.
Both players have been left frustrated by the lack of game time and ought to force a move away from the Premier League soon. This should definitely ring bells in the offices of AC Milan as they have a lot to offer in their respective positions on the pitch and can add a great deal of pace and tactical know-how to the team. The Italian league is relatively more relaxed as compared to the English top-flight in terms of speed, physicality and aggression. Such an environment may suit Depay better than Fabregas as the winger thrived in similar conditions at PSV. For the latter, this may represent a big chance to establish himself as the fulcrum of a side once again.
Erik Lamela has been linked with a move to Milan as well and while that may be rendered substantial, it is Depay and Fabregas they must target, for they might be the final pieces of the puzzle for the crestfallen giants.