It was a frustrating transfer window for AC Milan fans this time round. Right up until the last few days of the window wherein Uncle Fester (Adriano Galliani) finally managed to offload the perpetually disappointing Kevin Prince Boateng and managed to sign Alessandro Matri, formerly of Juventus, as a backup for the injured Pazzini. But these deals were somewhat secondary to what is being hailed as the second coming of the Prince of Milan, Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite aka Kaka.
The Rossoneri managed to secure the signing of the former world player of the year on the final day of the transfer window in a deal that saw Real Madrid release the player even though he still had 2 years left on his contract. The man himself had to take a heavy pay cut, reported to be in the vicinity of 50% to join the team with whom he reached the pinnacle of club football. Naturally, with a signing of this magnitude, a reversal of fortunes is expected.
The San Siro will be shaking when Kaka makes his much anticipated return on Tuesday in the first match of this season’s Champions League group stage against Scottish giants Celtic. But before he graces the sacred turf of the Stadio Guiseppe Meazza once again, Kaka might very well be given a chance to prove his critics wrong and lift this Milan side to a win away at Torino.
The owner has made it clear that Milan are to play with two strikers this season and the signing of Alessandro Matri and Kaka gives further credence to this tactic. The team will probably be setting up in a diamond this season with Balotelli and El Sharaawy up front and Kaka in support in front of the midfield trio of Nigel De Jong, Riccardo Montolivo and Andrea Poli/SulleyMuntari. Montolivo will take up the role once held by the metronome Andrea Pirlo while De Jong will try and emulate Rino Gattuso. The team looks good on paper but that isn’t really where the game is played, is it? A 31-year-old trequartista trying to revive a team that looks to be a distant shadow of its former self is certainly not a great sight.
Though his signing is a step in the right direction, it looks to be more of a marketing strategy than anything else, primarily because his role in the squad might very well be that of a stopgap with Keisuke Honda likely to arrive in January to fill the spot of the trequartista. The onus then is on Kaka to step up to the plate and make the signing of Honda seem redundant to a board, that doesn’t want to spend more money, and fans that want him to succeed.
Galliani might have succeeded in pleasing the supporters for now but the deal seems to one that has papered over some of the more important cracks in this Milan side. The lack of a strong central defensive partnership might yet haunt him this season but at least the Rossoneri have their hero back.