Milan’s signing of Leonardo Bonucci won’t just have ramifications for the title race next season but be a positive force for change in Italian football
I still struggle to believe it is possible.
One of the strongest defenders in the world, playing in one of the best defences in history for club and country, in a team capable of winning six league titles in a row and being close to lifting two Champions League titles, has gone to a fallen giant that is rebuilding and playing in the Europa League. Leonardo Bonucci has left Juventus to join AC Milan. And this is something huge for both clubs involved and the whole of Serie A.
The signs were there already, but with Bonucci Milan have really showed their full intentions. The aim is to challenge for the title straight away, but if the top spot is still too difficult to reach, well then a Champions League position will be just fine. It’s difficult to believe Bonucci would join a club that doesn’t have serious ambitions. He did have to leave Juve, because of too many issues in the changing room, but he could have picked clubs that right now are in a better place than the Rossoneri.
Juventus on the other hand could have imposed their will to sell Bonucci abroad, to avoid strengthening a possible direct challenger for the Serie A title. Milan have brought in a lot of new players, and the defender is the one that can lift a talented young team into a solid, winning group. A gamble by the Bianconeri, who clearly are hoping the best Bonucci is no longer a thing of the past.
Most importantly, though, this is great news for Serie A. To snatch a big player from Juventus seemed utopia until now, after the Bianconeri have dominated both in the transfer window and on the pitch for years. They were the ones going to their rivals and splashing the cash for big names. Look at Gonzalo Higuain or Miralem Pjanic, last season. This time it’s another club doing that to Juve.
It will be interesting to see how the Bianconeri react. Last season they lost Paul Pogba, the previous one Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez. And they still won. So to say Juve have to worry is a bit too much. But the Bianconeri have lost a pillar and this could change the trajectory of the next twelve months.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) July 14, 2017
Milan are doing the opposite, and with all the new signings, it will now be down to coach Vincenzo Montella to work out the best way to achieve results. The ball is in his court: if it works out, Milan can really look to impress next year.
This balances out the predictions for the upcoming season and leaves a lot of space to the imagination. A resurgent Milan can only be a positive thing: the Rossoneri have been missed, and such a prestigious club can lift the level of the whole Italian movement. If their spending power will be synonymous with a strong return on the pitch every week, then the signing of Bonucci will be one of the most important moments in recent years.