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AC Milan Poised to Return to the Pinnacle of European Football

AC Milan are one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the world. With seven European Cups, they are the second most successful side in the history of the Champions League.

However, in recent times they have fallen away from football’s summit quite spectacularly and have not been in the Champions League since 2014. In fact, they haven’t even been in European competition since then. For a club of Milan’s size, this is a worrying slump.

Things haven’t gone much better domestically either, they haven’t won the title since 2011 and have fallen miles behind Juventus who have won the last six Italian titles.

However, things are starting to look brighter. Their new Chinese owners have been clear that they want Milan back to the top, sooner rather than later, and have put their money where their mouth is, signing a number of high-profile players and backing their manager Vincenzo Montella.

We take a look at three reasons why Milan will make their way back to the top of the Italian and European game, sooner rather than later.

Up and Coming Young Stars:

Milan used to be known for their academy bringing though stars like Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta.

However, in recent years they have been unable to blood stars of that level with players such as Mbaye Niang and Marco Borriello having good but far from spectacular careers in a Milan shirt.

Recently, though, we have seen some up-and-coming new youngsters reach the first team. None more talented than Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma who looks astoundingly mature despite being only 18-years-old.

He is currently locked in a contract battle with the club, at first it seemed her wanted to leave the Rossoneri; however, his stance appears to have softened, and they may well be able to keep him. He is one of the most talented young players in the world, and many see him as the heir to Buffon so they must fight to keep him.

Alongside him are players like defender Alessio Romagnoli and midfielder Manuel Locatelli who are giving Milan fans something to get excited about.

For Milan, it has always been important to have local players who have been brought up learning about Milan’s history and their need to win trophies. These players fight for the shirt and have given Milan the edge that they have been sorely lacking since 2011.

Shrewd Signings

In addition to these exciting young players, Milan have acted early in the transfer market to bring in active players in key positions. They have strengthened the defence with star left back Ricardo Rodriguez and centre-back Mateo Musacchio coming in from Wolfsburg and Villarreal respectively.

They have added dynamism to midfield with Atalanta’s Frank Kessie, and their signing of Porto star Andre Silva will give them more bite up front. Milan’s great teams have always had big stars brought in from other clubs.

Players like Kaka, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Andriy Shevchenko helped to take Milan to the highest level, and the new owners will hope their new signings can do the same.

More recently they have been linked to Emil Forsberg, RB Leipzig’s assist machine and Chelsea’s Diego Costa by ESPN and the Metro respectively. If they can add these two players, then they will be in an excellent position.

Vincenzo Montella

Milan’s manager, Vincenzo Montella is still very young at only 42 and is still learning and growing, but he is already showing promise and has been slowly and steadily improving Milan.

Last season he got them into the Europa League at the expense of cross-town rivals Inter, meaning they will play European football next season for the first time in three years.

By sticking with their man rather than making a change, Milan’s owners will ensure stability and calm. Montella is clearly well liked and giving a manager proper time usually brings good results.

Montella has obvious challenges to deal with, not least the Donnarumma situation, but if he can keep his side together and integrate their new signings, then he can be the man to retake Milan to the top of the European game.

Their fans have had little to cheer about in recent years but good times seem to be on the horizon for the Rossoneri, and other sides in Serie A will be nervously looking over their shoulders.

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