Sacchi: ‘Lukaku or Zirkzee? Milan’s transfer market must be done by Fonseca’


Former Milan coach believes the Rossoneri’s transfer window should be dictated by new coach Paulo Fonseca. Writing in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Sacchi outlined Milan’s approach to the summer transfer window, highlighting the differences between Romelu Lukaku and Joshua Zirkzee, explaining why Fonseca should have an input:

“The dawn of a new adventure brings with it, inevitably, much curiosity and also some doubts. What will the Fonseca-style Milan that is about to be born be like? How will it play? Which market operations will be concluded? It’s logical that fans ask themselves these questions while waiting to see the team in action in the first seasonal outings. The Rossoneri are in the midst of a revolution, both at a technical level and at a managerial level because the advent of Zlatan Ibrahimovic is something that affects a lot within the club. We need to understand if the path taken is the right one. First of all, let’s start with the coach: Paulo Fonseca. I followed him when he was in Ukraine at Shakhtar Donetsk: there he had done well. Then he came to Italy, to Roma, but it’s always difficult to judge a coach who lands in the Giallorossi environment because there are many pressures and there isn’t always the necessary tranquility to work in depth. Fonseca then moved to France, to Lille, where he obtained a fifth and a fourth place. Milan, before signing him, followed him for a long time and became convinced of his skill. I can’t give a judgment without having seen him at work and I also think I can add that Rossoneri fans will have to be patient, because you don’t build a palace overnight. The fundamental thing is that the coach and the club are tuned to the same wavelength, and that there are no misunderstandings or, worse, fractures. Let me explain better: now we are in the midst of the transfer market and it is necessary that the managers follow the coach’s indications to set up the team he has in mind.

Two different strikers

I read that the Rossoneri, for the role of center forward, are thinking of Lukaku or Zirkzee, and then I want to say: they are two completely different strikers, one is powerful and goes away with strength, relies on his physical qualities, while the other is technical and loves to play with teammates, dialogue with midfielders, triangulate in tight spaces. Is it possible that both suit Milan? You either choose Lukaku or you choose Zirkzee. Here, I would like to know, on the subject, Fonseca’s opinion who will then have the task of fielding the center forward. Does he prefer a Lukaku type or a Zirkzee type? I could make the same argument for other roles and it leads to the following conclusion: only the coach, based on the style and game he wants to give to the team, knows which elements are suitable. So I expect Fonseca to have a big impact on the Rossoneri’s market, because this aspect can make the difference. Last season’s Milan had a very difficult start due to the many purchases (mostly foreigners) made in the summer. It’s never simple to assemble players, if then they come from abroad and don’t know the characteristics of our championship it becomes even more complicated. In fact, only in the second part of the year did Pioli manage to give a precise face to the team. If the past must teach, I hope that the Rossoneri managers don’t make the same mistakes.

Organization and humility

I believe that Fonseca has already demonstrated that he aims for a precise and solid game organization and the desire for field domination. This is very important because it is an idea perfectly in line with the development of modern football. However, it is fundamental that his players press all over the field, that they maintain the correct distances between departments, otherwise the work is nullified. This will be, the period that is about to begin, a period of teaching by the Portuguese coach and learning by his boys. Who, from the start, must show themselves humble and available. The managers, especially at the beginning of the adventure, will have the task of supporting Fonseca, helping him and supporting him. And then, in the end, I put the role of the public. I know Milan’s quite well: it’s demanding, loves beauty, wants the show. Here, in this case, people will have to be patient and not put pressure on the coach and players. Time, if used well, is always a gentleman.”


Serie A obsessive.