AC Milan’s Suso is the perfect replacement for Pedro at Chelsea
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One of the many European clubs now living in past glory is AC Milan. The Italian giants have gradually reclined into a mid-table team in the Serie A. To their credit, they still manage to show face in Europe; albeit they’ve never been anywhere near the Champions League since 2014.
The problem with Milan hasn’t been lack of spending. In fact, they spent so much money last year, they allegedly broke UEFA’s financial fair play rule. Lavishing money on supposedly good players hasn’t helped. Milan still isn’t at the level of Napoli let alone Juventus. Perhaps that’s exactly why they’re struggling to get a grip on their best players.
Gianluigi Donnarumma initially said no to a new contract this summer. It took serious persuasion and outcry from supporters to get him to pen a new deal. The Rossoneri are back on that path again. This time it’s Suso who’s stalling on signing a contract extension. In Suso’s case, there’s no need for Milan to hurry. His contract runs until 2022. But Suso, like Donnarumma, is proving he’s too good for AC Milan to stay with them that long. More so, the player’s buyout fee is just below £40million which makes him very affordable for Europe’s deep pockets.
At just 24, Suso, who is Spanish, has toured three of Europe’s big five leagues. He joined Liverpool academy in 2010 but never matured into a mainstay with the senior team. While contracted to Liverpool, he spent a season on loan at Almeria in 2013. Altogether Suso featured 21 for Liverpool’s first team in two-and-half years before Milan snapped him up for just about £1 million in 2015’s winter. Sandwiched between his remarkable rise to prominence with Milan was a loan spell at Genoa in 2016.
This season, Suso is among the most creative attackers in Europe. He betters Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of direct goal involvement – Suso has had a hand in 11 Milan goals this campaign. Chelsea doesn't need further convincing.
After a century of appearances for the Rossoneri, Suso seems ripe enough to step up to big leagues. Report says Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Napoli and Chelsea are all monitoring his situation closely. Of the lot, Chelsea might be the one who needs his service the most. It's the Londoners who're taking bold strides towards the forward.
Willian and Pedro are two of Chelsea’s most reliable wingers. However, both players are ageing quickly and it’s time the Blues shop for a replacement. It’s a given that Chelsea would have to let one of the pair go if they’re serious about injecting some fresh blood into the team. If that happens, then it’s most likely that Pedro, whose legs are becoming increasingly tired from years of ceaseless running, would be sacrificed.
It would be foolhardy for the Blues to sell both players. There’s no circumventing the experience, work-rate and dynamism of Willian.
Rumours linking Chelsea to Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey has so far proved baseless. The Jamaican winger would’ve been a superb upgrade on Pedro but Leverkusen has kept a vice grip on the player by hiking his asking price. A great alternative to Bailey is Suso. Veritably, the Spanish winger is as good as Bailey if not better. He’s also a cheaper option.
Replacing Pedro with Suso would make plenty of sense for Chelsea. It’d be a like for like replacement of an older Spanish winger with another who is younger, more robust and technically astute. Having played in the Premier League, Suso could sync right into any top six teams.
Arguably, Milan have up their best player so easily – Although they’d be making a huge profit if they sell him at his current valuation. A way around this bottleneck is to negotiate a player plus cash deal for the player. That player would be Pedro.