Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano: AC Milan react to striker shortage

It is fair to say that AC Milan are one of the biggest clubs in world football, but over recent years the historic Italian side’s performances on the pitch have steadily worsened.

Since Max Allegri’s departure in 2014, the Rossoneri have appointed inexperienced coaches and sold their best players consistently, which has seen the club fall out of European qualification contention.

However, with the new appointment of former Sampdoria boss Siniša Mihajlović as the new man to lead the team forward, it appears that the powers that be are ready to invest in the playing squad.

Last season’s 10th placed finish was nothing short of a disaster, but had Jérémy Ménez not chipped in with 16 Serie A goals, the campaign could well have been a whole lot worse.

The French attacking midfielder played out of position with aplomb to fill the void left by Mario Balotelli’s sale to Liverpool and the fluctuating fitness of the mercurial but injury-prone Stephan El Shaarawy.

Milan have clearly identified the need for major reinforcements in attack and have been quick this summer to add two number nines of distinction to their ranks.

Luiz AdrianoThe presence of Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano in the Rossoneri squad ahead of next season gives the 18-time Italian champions a considerably more dangerous look about them.

The capture of Colombian forward Bacca will have not been an easy deal to complete, especially given that the Spaniards will compete in next season’s Champions League while Milan will not.

The former Club Brugge hitman has followed in the footsteps of a host of his countrymen by moving to Europe and quickly finding their feet and the back of the net with regularity.

A purple patch in Belgium earned him a switch to the Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, where he led the Nervionenses line for two seasons, winning back-to-back Europa League crowns in the process.

Bacca finished last season as Sevilla’s top scorer with 20 La Liga goals; only a rejuvenated Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and the free-scoring Antoine Griezmann netted more in the Spanish top flight.

A predatory number nine with excellent movement off the ball, the Colombian is in his prime and could well be a revelation at the Stadio San Siro.

Adriano meanwhile has been touted with a move to a major European club for a number of years, with his exploits alongside a host of his countrymen at Shakhtar Donetsk not going unnoticed.

The Brazilian spent eight years on the books of the Ukrainian outfit and leaves the eastern European club as its all-time top goalscorer with 79 league strikes.

The four-times capped Brazil international highlighted just how good he is with nine goals in the Champions League group stages last term, with glowing scout reports galore.

As his contract with Shakhtar was expiring in December, Milan are said to have landed the South American for a bargain €8 million, beating plenty of other suitors to his signature.

Another man who has consistently hit the back of the net over recent years, Adriano will be keen to embark on this new challenge and prove that he can make the step up to Serie A.

The signings show ambition by Milan and clearly eliminate an area of concern, but also contain an element of risk.

Both strikers are 28 and as such are in the most potent years of their career, but will not represent players to build a new Rossoneri dynasty around.

Also, it may well be that it is one or the other that plays rather than the duo together due to their similar traits and attributes.

That said, with the likes of Keisuke Honda, Alessio Cerci and Ménez feeding one of these proven goalscorers, Milan look like a much more threatening side and will hope to close the gap on Italy’s top teams as a result next season.

By
I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo, goal.com, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
Stay updated by email

Enter your email address to receive our articles by email: