AC Milan’s downfall over the last few years has been saddening to many, apart from just the rossoneri fans. Ever since Massimiliano Allegri left, the club has been falling into the muddle of mediocrity due to a constant change of managers and switches in ownership. While that has been a problem, the club has been falling behind due to lack of proper recruitment.
That is why the club possibly signing Ralf Rangnick would be excellent for them. He would fix a lot of issues that exist at the club without even managing them like Stefano Pioli is. He will add more insight into recruitment and the club would have a proper sporting director in-charge of signing players.
Rangnick is currently in-charge of Red Bull’s recruitment in Brazil and South America. He does the same job for Red Bull New York, helping them sign the best of talents in that part of the world. He’s had the sporting director role at RB Salzburg and RB Leipzig in the past and had two managerial stints at the Bundesliga side too.
But it is the recruitment role where he has thrived. At Salzburg, he unearthed Sadio Mane and Kevin Kampl in his first few months. In his last year at the club, he helped them sign Takumi Minamino and Naby Keita too.
He was at Leipzig at the same time too, but he took it forward thereafter leaving Salzburg in 2015. That period has seen Leipzig sign Timo Werner, Dayot Upamecano, Ibrahima Konate, Konrad Laimer and many more players.
As manager, Rangnick comes from the proper Red Bull background and brings a 4-4-2 to the plate. It is the same shape that Julian Nagelsmann uses and Ralph Hasenhuttl likes. Both like their teams to play a high-pressing brand of football that relies on vertical passing.
He clearly has a very impressive CV, when it comes to spotting talent. Milan’s summer business with Ricky Massara in-charge wasn’t bad at all. Ismael Bennacer has been one of the best players, while Theo Hernandez is the club’s highest scorer from left-back. Ante Rebic has been in fine form recently, winning nine points almost single-handedly.
But the summer of 2017 shows exactly where Milan have been falling short. When Vincenzo Montella was in-charge, they spent €194 million on transfers. They roped in Hakan Calhanoglu, Fabio Borini, Andre Silva, Andrea Conti, Lucas Biglia, Mateo Musacchio and Leonardo Bonucci. Weeks later, Montella was sacked and Rino Gattuso came in.
The job Gattuso did was never bad. A new ownership came about in the summer of 2018, as the Elliot Management bought the club from Yonghong Li. Gattuso and new sporting director Leonardo were never on the same page. Despite Milan coming very close to a top-four finish, disagreements with the board saw Gattuso leave. Leonardo too left for Paris Saint-Germain.
The signings that Leonardo had made were hardly impressive. Only Samu Castillejo is the one still at the club, while Lucas Paqueta continues to struggle and Diego Laxalt brought back from Torino recently. It all shows what a mess the club has been when it comes to signing players and appointing or sacking managers.
Rangnick is someone who knows the game from two perspectives- the manager and the sporting director. He did both jobs at Leipzig on two occasions. He brings expertise in both departments and knows what he is doing.
During his time at Leipzig, Emil Forsberg was full of awe. The Swede told SportBuzzer (via BuliNews): “He’s always there for us and helps when he can. He also gets loud when we need it. The coach has everything under control – the results and the way we play say it all.
“The overall package that comes with Ralf Rangnick is great. I can’t imagine a better coach. It may even be hard for him to not coach us anymore next year.”
His expertise in Brazil would work well for Milan. The club takes pride in having been the abode for South American talents over the years. That includes Kaka, Ronaldinho, Robinho, Cafu and Ronaldo. The signing of Paqueta shows that they’ve lost that spark as well.
But Rangnick will fix that. And a move for him will make sense on many levels.