Players who can fill Ibrahimovich and Silva’s boot at Milan

-Bibek Sharma

About a year ago, nobody thought that AC Milan would be selling their top stars. Thiago Silva, who was at the heart of defense left the club after signing a five year contract last season. Meanwhile, there were rumors about Ibrahimovic being unsettled after the season ended. PSG paid Milan  24 million euros for Zlatan and he earns 14 million euros a year making him one of the top 3 earner in world football. 

We take a look at the five players that Milan could use to replace Silva and Ibrahimovich: 

Edin Dzeko: Many people may forget that Edin Dzeko is the top scorer of VFL Wolfsburg till date with 59 goals from 96 games. Dzeko did score 14 goals last season, however he was still second fiddle to Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero and later Carlos Tevez. Dzeko is a typical central forward who has the physical strength to hold up the ball, bring others into play. The Bosnian Diamond is not getting enough time at Manchester City so he might switch to the Italians which could help him get first team football as well. Edin Dzeko isn’t your exact replica of Ibrahimovich but he can contribute to AC Milan in a different way.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa: The Montpellier defender has been on the highlight of the media for the past couple of weeks. He had a stellar season with the French side winning the Ligue 1 and captained the team as well. The Central African Republic born player has been the only defender Milan have on their eyes. Mbiwa is strong and uses his physicality to shrug of forwards and is fairly good in the air as well. AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani quoted to La Gazzettadello Sport “We have made an offer and we’ll travel to Montpellier shortly. We’ll see what happens. It’s a matter of money”.

Giusseppe Rossi: The American-born Italian forward has been out for almost a whole year due to injuries. Rossi is a modern day forward, small and powerful with tons of pace and bags of tricks. He can play off the last defender or can be your play making forward. He is known for his ability to score goals and link-up play; he often drops deep and is involved in the buildup of plays.He is the ideal replacement of Ibra, although Milan would miss the physical presence but Rossi can make up for it. Fitness would be a major issue if Milan brought the forward and rumor mill shows there hasn’t been any links whatsoever. Milan can get him cheap as his side was relegated from La Liga.

Kyriakos Papadopoulos: The Katerini-born defender is one of the promising and hottest young talent in Europe right now. Papadopoulos plays at Schalke and had a breakout season last year and also played in Greek’s Euro 2012 campaign. The youngest player ever to play the Greek Super League is very strong and comfortable with the ball at his feet and has been praised for his tenacious and skillful defending at such a young age. He is a perfect fit for Milan but Schalke have a put a hefty price tag on the defender which might be above what Milan have thought

Kevin Gameiro: The former Lorient striker will  have to play second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovich at PSG. Gameiro is considered to be one of the French League’s best strikers as he has been consistently racking up goals. He scored 11 goals in 32 appearances for PSG in his debut season. Gameiro is described as a fast, energetic player with good dribbling abilities, which compensates for his relatively light frame. He has been linked with a move to Newcastle United but Gameiro and PSG would surely accept an offer from Milan as the Italian club has more bargaining power then Toons.

Milan CEO Adriano Galliani promised that the club would sign ‘star players’ and that they would not stay put on the transfer market. Other names such as Kaka, Edinson Cavani, Moura has been linked with Milan but still no one expect who will be in the Milan’s jersey this season?