When you think of Milan the word loyalty comes to mind. This club has always thought of itself as a family, and family should stick together no matter what. However, this does not seem to be the case with Klass-Jan Huntelaar. The Dutchman arrived at San Siro in early August and is already reported to be getting ready to leave in the January transfer window to Manchester United.
He is only 26-years-old – one would think that Milan would want to keep the youth. But the limited playing time afforded to him has not helped him make an impact on his team and thus left the management thinking he is not worth having. At the beginning of the season, Huntelaar was hailed as the kind of striker the Rossoneri were looking for, but he has not really blossomed into that player. It does not help his case when he has such fierce competition for a chance to be in the starting line-up, with Filippo Inzaghi, Marco Borriello ahead of him.
After he saved the Rossoneri from an embarrassing result against Catania in Week 14, everybody hailed Huntelaar, and even Vice-President Adriano Galliani had declared that he was not for sale. This all looked very promising, yet he has not started a game since. Last weekend’s match against Palermo showed a decent Milan side lose by two goals, with both Borriello and Pato misfiring. This would have been the perfect opportunity to bring on Huntelaar but he was left on the bench to watch his side lose. The game against Fiorentina will be the opportune moment for the Hunter to prove that he was worth £12.5m. He could use this as a platform to really show off his skills and secure much needed playing time to boost his confidence. However, this can only be achieved if the management and Coach at Milan take a leap of faith and give the 26-year-old a shot at extending his stay at the San Siro. After all, it was his moments of brilliance against Catania that helped them steal second spot away from rivals Juventus.
Fiorentina are further down the table than their opposition, currently sitting in ninth. And after their loss to Chievo last weekend, they will view this game as the perfect chance to recapture their European form. If a person were only to look at the league standings, one may think that there can be only one result to this game, a team sitting in ninth against the team in second – but even though they currently find themselves in mid-table, they are not to be treated lightly. Yet it would seem that as they progress in Europe they will inevitably let their domestic form slip and Milan can capitalise on this and use it to get back on track.
They have been cruising in Europe and it is because of this that they have received the financial freedom to buy reinforcements in the January transfer window. This will allow them the opportunity to strengthen the side that boasts the talent of Alberto Gilardino, Adrian Mutu, Stevan Jovetić and Sebastian Frey – a side already consisting of the right amount of youth and experience. Having said that, their domestic form is lacking consistency and they are without most of their back line, not a great prospect for a side who struggle defensively when everybody is fit.
Milan have let slip an opportunity to close the gap between them and the Nerazzurri by losing their last game to Palermo, but from that game Leonardo saw a determined Milan side and the real Ronaldinho. Throughout that match he showed all his skill and tricks that are synonymous with his name. But Ronnie alone cannot win a game. They created chances, but missed opportunity after opportunity, something you cannot afford to do when you are chasing teams.