After big spending in the summer offered hope of a first Serie A title challenge in years, or at the very least a better attempt at making it back into the Champions League, AC Milan approach the halfway stage of the 2017/18 campaign 18 points behind the leaders Napoli.
A managerial change has already been made and as many as 14 points separate the Rossoneri from even the top four and it could well be another season of abject mediocrity.
Milan last won the Serie A title during the 2010/11 season. That was Zlatan Ibrahimovic's debut year at the club, with the Swede scoring 14 times en-route to Scudetto glory. He netted a further 28 in the league the following season, before a 2012 departure to Paris Saint-Germain.
Milan have had countless legendary goal scorers over the years, from Filippo Inzaghi and Andriy Shevchenko in the years immediately prior to Zlatan, to the likes of Marco van Basten, Gianni Rivera and Gunnar Nordahl going back to generations past.
But a top striker has been noticeably lacking in the five-and-a-half years since Ibra, with Colombian front-man Carlos Bacca the best the club have managed to find.
Here's a look at 10 individuals who have tried and failed to fill Ibrahimovic's San Siro shoes...
10. Mattia Destro
3 Serie A goals in 15 appearances (2015)
Briefly considered 'hot property' after one fairly good season with Roma in 2013/14, Mattia Destro ultimately failed to kick on. He landed with Milan on loan in the latter half of the 2014/15 campaign and still couldn't replicate his earlier promise.
Destro was eventually sold to Bologna by Roma at the end of that season and has scored just 21 times in Serie A in the last two-and-a-half years.
9. Gianluca Lapadula
8 Serie A goals in 27 appearances (2016 - present*)
Currently on loan at Genoa after just one season leading the line for the Rossoneri, Gianluca Lapadula arrived as a top flight gamble after setting Serie B alight for Pescara.
The Turin-born forward had spent his entire career playing lower league football up to that point, not making his Serie A debut at the age of 26. It was three months into the season before he scored his first goal in Milan colours.
8. Nikola Kalinic
4 Serie A goals in 15 appearances (2017 - present)
Nikola Kalinic's goal return of four in 15 games isn't appalling following his loan arrival from Fiorentina in the summer. Yet compared to similar 'number nines' at Milan's rivals, it falls way below expectation for a player who scored 15 times in Serie A last season.
At Inter, Mauro Icardi has scored 17 league goals this season, while Gonzalo Higuain has nine for Juventus, and Edin Dzeko has eight for Roma.
7. Fernando Torres
1 Serie A goal in 10 appearances (2014 - 2016*)
Already long since a shadow of his former self, Fernando Torres joined Milan on loan from Chelsea for the first half of the 2014/15 and failed to score more than once during his brief time in Italian football.
Torres had initially joined Milan on a two-year loan deal. But that was made permanent after only half a season, followed by a more or less immediate loan move to boyhood club Atletico Madrid, returning 'home' seven-and-a-half years after first leaving.
6. Alessandro Matri
1 Serie A goal in 15 appearances (2013 - 2016*)
Having kicked off his career with Milan in 2003, Alessandro Matri rejoined the club for €11m in the summer of 2013. It was no dream homecoming, however, as he was barely a starter and could only find the net once in the 15 Serie A games he played.
Matri was loaned to Fiorentina after just half a season, later spending time on loan at Genoa, Juventus and Lazio, before Sassuolo finally bought him outright in 2016.
5. Alessio Cerci
1 Serie A goal in 29 appearances (2015 - 2016)
Alessio Cerci secured a move to Spanish champions Atletico Madrid as a replacement for Diego Costa in the summer of 2014, only to flop in La Liga with no goals.
It was Milan who gave the one-season wonder - he had scored 13 times for Torino in Serie A in 2013/14 - a route back to Italy on loan in January 2015. But Cerci scored only once in that first half season, and then not at all during the rest of his 18-month stay the following campaign.
4. Andre Silva
0 Serie A goals in 10 appearances (2017 - present)
Andre Silva, signed from Porto in the summer of 2017 for a fee rising to €40m, has had a dramatically mixed Milan career so far as his first season nears the halfway stage.
The Portuguese international has scored freely in European games, bagging eight Europa League goals in 10 appearance, including qualifiers. Serie A has been an entirely different story, though, with Silva yet to get himself on the score sheet even once.
3. Luiz Adriano
4 Serie A goals in 33 appearances (2015 - 2017)
Brazilian frontman Luiz Adriano had enjoyed many successful years in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk before joining Milan for what seemed like a bargain €8m fee in 2015.
But after 69 league goals in his last six seasons with Shakhtar, Adriano managed just four in Serie A in his debut campaign with Milan. No more followed in the first half of the 2016/17 season and he returned to eastern Europe with Spartak Moscow in Russia.
2. Mario Balotelli (Second Spell)
1 Serie A goal in 20 appearances (2015 - 2016)
In fairness to Mario Balotelli, his first spell at Milan, which saw him join the club from Manchester City in January 2013, was actually quite a success. He scored almost a goal per game in his first half season, followed by 14 Serie A goals in 30 games in 2013/14.
That impressive form and goal return led Liverpool to splash out with a gamble on the enigmatic star, only for his career to then take a nosedive. And when Balotelli returned to Milan on loan in 2015, he scored just once in the league all season.
1. Giampaolo Pazzini
21 Serie A goals in 74 appearances (2012 - 2015)
Famous for the scoring the first goal at the new Wembley Stadium while playing for Italy's Under-21 team, Giampaolo Pazzini arrived at Milan in the same summer that Zlatan left.
He had crossed the San Siro divide from Inter and enjoyed a relatively promising debut season in which he scored 15 times in 30 Serie A appearances. Things went downhill quickly afterwards, with Pazzini netting only six more league goals in the next two seasons combined.
* indicates player was loaned to other clubs while still contracted to Milan