Torino aren’t having the best seasons in recent memory. Walter Mazzarri was sacked after Il Toro suffered a poor run of results. While it has been a poor season, Daniele Baselli hasn’t let anyone down. And perhaps, that is why Milan have been linked with a move for the Italian.
Tuttosport (via MilanNews) have recently said that the Rossoneri are interested in doing a swap deal for Baselli involving their young midfielder Tommaso Pobega. It is said that Torino have been impressed by Pobega himself and there is a chance of the deal happening. But despite there being interest from both sides, Milan should not go ahead with it.
That isn’t a question-mark about Baselli’s quality though. The midfielder has been one of the better players at Il Toro this season. In 16 appearances, he has picked up a couple of assists. While that isn’t a huge number, he has always been someone who won’t score many goals.
Last season, Baselli racked up four Serie A goals and that stood at six in the 2017-18 campaign. That was the highest he has ever scored and the 2017-18 season was the peak of it. But Baselli is known to be a box-to-box midfielder. He thrives on winning the ball and taking it forward into advanced areas.
This season, he has won 2.7 tackles per game and has a tally of 1.6 interceptions per game too. He is quick on the ground and quick on the ball, considering he has come up with 1.1 dribbles per game this season. That is how he has always been, someone who often acts as an engine in the heart of the park.
His fighting mentality was very much liked by Mazzarri and that made him a key player for the former Watford boss.
As for Milan, they’ve been using either a 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1 under Stefano Pioli since 2020 began. Ismael Bennacer and Franck Kessie have been regulars, with the Algerian thriving in a box-to-box role. Jack Bonaventura has often played in advanced midfield, having scored twice. Hakan Calhanoglu has often donned that role too, scoring thrice so far.
Rade Krunic, like Bennacer, was signed from relegated Empoli. The Bosnian midfielder has played only nine games but he has changed games with his ability to get on the ball and do the work. What Milan will lack soon though, is a ball-winning midfielder with Lucas Biglia’s contract expiring in the summer of 2020.
While Bennacer can play that role as he did under Marco Giampaolo early on, but they would need another player in that position. That explains why Florentino Luis was linked with a move to San Siro. That didn’t happen, but it is a sign that the Rossoneri will look for a ball-winner soon.
But Baselli is not that ball-winner. He is more of a box-to-box player than an anchor-man like Florentino could be. He is 28 and in a season, he could well be declining. Milan had done the same with Biglia back in 2017 and the Argentine was at his best for just one season. The same could happen with Baselli.
Pobega presents a younger option for a similar box-to-box option like Baselli. In Serie B for Pordenone, he has made 2.43 tackles per 90 minutes and makes 6.4 recoveries per 90 minutes. He also four goals and three assists to his name- proof of how he’s very much in the Baselli mould.
It also shows that Milan could make a rushed decision if they sign Baselli. They made a similar mistake with Biglia in the past and doing the same with the Italian will not be good at all.=