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Did Gianluigi Donnarumma stab Milan in the back or save his career?

Monday 26th June 2017
AC Milan for many years has been one of the biggest and most prestigious clubs in Europe. However, in recent years, the Rossoneri have been enduring a downward spiral; so much so, a move to play for the once great AC Milan can now be seen as a step down for established players. So, was star goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma right to snub Milan's contract offer?

Gigi Donnarumma's talent is beyond question. The youngster has proved his mettle and has become one of the most popular men between the sticks in Europe.

Donnarumma's achievements in football still sound much like a fairy tale to most.

Breakthrough

After showing so much promise with the Milan youth team, the teenager was promoted to the senior squad in 2015 by Filippo Inzaghi. Sinia Mihajlović was, however, the manager who decided it was time to give the youngster a fighting chance in his team. Within a few months, a 16-year-old was regularly manning the post for Milan. Former Real Madrid first choice keeper, Diego Lopez found himself playing understudy to a kid young enough to be his son.

With his first Serie A appearance for Milan, Donnarumma became the second youngest goalie to feature in the Serie A. He also went on to become the youngest keeper to play for the Italian national team – he made his international debut aged 17 years and 189 days.

Last season stats



Gigi Donnarumma started and finished all 38 games for Milan last season. In those games, he kept twelve clean sheets for the seven-time Champions League winners; his record was only bettered by Roma's Wojciech Szczesny who kept fourteen.

The former Napoli trainee also made 143 saves, a figure only surpassed by Empoli's Lukasz Skorupski who made two more. Milan had finished sixth on the Serie A table, albeit without Donnarumma they could've finished further down.

Mino Raiola



Following Gigi Donnarumma's achievements, football super agent, Mino Raiola soon stepped in and before long, one of the world's best young goalkeepers was his client.

Raiola is famous for helping young superstar footballers squeeze every penny they can from clubs, before putting pen to paper. This can be seen from the mouth-watering deal he brokered for Paul Pogba's return to Manchester United.

With Raiola being Donnarumma's agent and just a year left on the Italian's contract, it was always going to be tough for Milan to tie Gianluigi Buffon's namesake to a long term contract.

Cold betrayal or plain logic?



Milan had reportedly offered Donnarumma a contract worth €4.5 million per year before bonuses as well as a reasonable release clause. However, the club's chief executive, Marco Fassone, announced that, after meeting with the player's agent, contract negotiations had broken down.

Gianluigi Donnarumma was pelted with fake money on international duty.

The bottom-line is, AC Milan had given Gianluigi Donnarumma the platform to shine. Without the Rossoneri, the 18-year-old might never have gotten to where he is. Regardless, AC Milan isn't the club it once was and simply isn't the place for a player who wants to win trophies and earn a pile of cash doing that.

The time for die-hard sentimentality with clubs is over, gone with the likes Alessandro Del Piero, Paolo Maldini, Javier Zanetti and most recently Francesco Totti. If you ask him, Gianluigi Donnarumma has Milan in his heart, but he's taken the best decision for the good of his career and should be understood.
Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.


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