A serial winner, a proven goalscorer and a veteran of the game, Mario Mandzukic has joined AC Milan on a free transfer this month with the possibility of extending his contract a further year. Considering the club’s position as leader of the Serie A and having possibilities to win the Europa League, there are many reasons why Mario Mandzukic is a shrewd signing by the Italian club.
It’s fair to say that AC Milan is surpassing any expectations footballs fans had this season, sitting top of the league in Serie A and poised not only to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in years, but also to win the Scudetto and take it away from Juventus’ hands. In order to improve their chances of winning the title and improve their squad depth, AC Milan’s board have signed former Juventus striker, Mario Mandzukic, during this January transfer window. A quite interesting transfer to analyze.
The common question that people have about this transfer is that why signing such a senior player that was playing in Qatar with the Al-Duhail side. And at 34-year-old Mario Mandzukic has past his prime, which has prompted people to consider this signing as something that is not going to make a huge difference for the team. I disagree. I think Mario Mandzukic is the type of player that could prove to be very beneficial for AC Milan and the main reason being that they need depth in a few positions, at least in terms of profile. If Zlatan Ibrahimovic gets injured or needs a rest, the team doesn’t have a striker of their profile to maintain the same approach in terms of playing style.
Now they do with Mandzukic. The Croatian can link-up, offer hold-up play and fight with the center-backs, while having the capacity of scoring clutch goals that have been a main trait of his throughout his career. Mandzukic is certainly no Zlatan, but he doesn’t have to be either.
The other factor is experience. Zlatan Ibrahimovic aside, this is a very young AC Milan side and the input of a seasoned player can prove quite useful in key games that can decide the title in their favor. Mandzukic is a proven winner in both Italy and Germany, having played for the likes of Bayern Munich and Juventus. As a result, he knows what is necessary to be successful in league tournaments. He is obviously a short term signing, but that’s everything AC Milan need from Mario Mandzukic. And if he delivers, his impact could be valued for years to come.