AC Milan’s summer signings brought a mixture of excitement and anticipation to the Rossoneri faithful as they planned to return to the pinnacle of Italian football this season. However, things aren’t going as planned, and to say that each of the summer signings’ impacts have been substandard this season could be considered as an understatement.
Milan currently find themselves 11th in the Serie A table, 14 points behind city rivals Internazionale, who occupy the last Champions League spot. As the season goes on it looks increasingly likely that Milan may miss out on a European spot and finish outside the top six. But who will the blame turn to this time?
It was Vincenzo Montella – who was sacked and replaced by Rino Gattuso - who brought in the personnel during the summer and this made all expectations high, as he brought in the likes of Leonardo Bonnuci.
However, with high expectations comes increased pressure and that certainly told as Montella lost his job – winning just six games in 14 - after just four months into the season. Fingers will also be pointed at the new summer arrivals who have been hit-or-miss during the start of their Milan careers.
Here’s a look at how each summer signing has fared for the Rossoneri during this below par season.
8. Mateo Musacchio - 6/10
The Argentine defender was brought in from Villarreal for £15m and has shown some versatility by playing in both a two-man and three-man defence. However, he looked a bit disorientated in Montella’s 3-5-2 formation, as he’s much more comfortable when he plays part of a back-four - this setup has resulted in Musacchio making sloppy mistakes in key moments.
He was brought in by Montella because he's as an assured and calm defender when on the ball, adding a different dynamic to Milan's style of play. However, there haven't been too many special moments from the former Villarreal man.
7. Franck Kessié - 7/10
Frank Kessie has had a mixed start to the season. We've seen him at his best, but we've also seen glimpses of some carelessness when he's in possession. When he's on top of his game, the Ivorian is a strong and assertive box-to-box player that the Rossoneri have missed in the past few seasons.
His energy, drive and determination has made him a stand out player in the heart of the Milan midfield and the 21-year-old is extremely reliable as he's played in all of the Rosseneri's Serie A fixtures this season.
6. Hakan Çalhanoğlu - 5/10
Milan spent £18m when they brought Hakan Çalhanoğlu from Bayer Leverkusen, and he's a highly regarded dead ball specialist. However, much like several other names on this list, he hasn't done enough to live up to his price tag, putting in some average performances thus far.
There's no doubt that he's shown some flashes of the creative quality he possesses - having a hand in six assists this season - but he'll need to improve if he wants to make that midfield position his own.
5. Fabio Borini - 6/10
Fabio Borini was a surprise addition to the Milan side when he was brought in from Sunderland in the summer, and was criticised by many before he even donned the famous striped shirt.
However, when he's played this season he's shown determination and large amounts of commitment each time he's played. Although, if he truly wants to win over the Milan faithful then his goal statistics need to improve...drastically.
The Italian has only scored one goal in 24 games in all competitions this season, which is well below par for a player that started his career as an out-and-out striker. The lack of technique and quality that he's shown in the final third this season has been rather frustrating and most certainly needs to improve in that aspect if he's to be considered a starter by Gattuso.
4. André Silva - 4/10
The €38m payed for Andre Silva looks a tad hefty now, as we enter the second half of the season. The Portuguese attacker was considered to be Milan's number one striker when he was brought from Porto, but Silva has seemed to be a shadow of his former self during his spell at Milan.
Silva bagged a reasonable 21 goals last season for the Porto, but this season he hasn't managed a single league goal. At 21-years-old he has plenty of time to progress and we've seen glimpses of what he can do when he's played in the Europa League.
He has, however, scored six goals in six games in Europe's second tier competition. But now it's just about hitting a high level on a consistent basis whenever he's given the opportunity.
3. Lucas Biglia - 4/10
Lucas Biglia has been one of the Rossoneri's poorest summer signings with a string of frustrating displays. He hasn't managed to match the ability that he possesses and that he showed during his time as Lazio captain.
The Argentine endured a frustrating start due to injury, but he has shown a few moments of his class since recovering. He's only managed to start one of their last 10 Serie A games with Gattuso preferring the ageing Riccardo Montolivo in the holding role in front of the defence.
When Biglia has played this season he's looked sluggish and always prone to a mistake or two.
2. Ricardo Rodriguez - 7/10
You can always rely on Rodriguez to put a shift in when he plays and he is fairly consistent in his performances. He's always a willing outlet on the left flank and can produce a great delivery and pinpoint crosses. Having said that, the defensive side of his game can look a little shaky at times, as he's been caught off-guard when trying to stop the opposition attack.
The Swiss international has impressed for the most part and has been one of the consistent figures in Milan’s lineup. He also pops up for the odd goal as his goal scoring numbers are higher than some strikers on this list.
1. Leonardo Bonucci - 5/10
The signing of Bonucci set the mark for what the Rossoneri were looking to achieve this campaign. He was considered to be one of the best deals of the summer across the continent and the defensive stalwart was in the form of his life in a Juventus side that dominated Serie A for years.
The €40m payed for him seemed a bargain considering the inflation rate in recent times. However, the decline in form for the Italian defender has been almost unfathomable. Although he hasn't been dreadful - he just looks to have turned into a completely different player, always prone to a mistake defensively.
His distribution was considered his best attribute, but for some reason he isn't showing the quality on the ball that we've seen for many years from the veteran defender. His decline is the pivotal reason he scores an average rating.