AC Milan may have (sort of) wealthy new owners, who may be splashing the cash this summer (or at least lead to stories of them splashing the cash this summer), but they’ve done alright this season even without the new money’s help. Sure, it’s not quite the glory days of the recent and not-so-recent past, but it’s also not exactly a straight-up disaster — though continuing also-ran statuses will eventually become the expected outcome, which is surely not where they want to be. But I digress.
One of the key players for manager Vincenzo Montella has been Chelsea loanee Mario Pašalić, who’s worked his way into nigh-undroppable status after getting off to a slow start this season while recovering from the back injury that kept him out of action for most of the second half of last season.
And while he was ruled out due to suspension over the weekend as Milan drew 2-2 with Internazionale in the Milan Derby, prior to that, Pašalić had started 16 of 21 league games since making his debut in late October. Chipping in with four goals in the meantime, Pašalić has been a big reason why Milan are challenging for the top six in Serie A.
Unsurprisingly, the stories around the 22-year-old have changed from a potential mid-season recall to a potential permanent deal at the end of the season. With backing from the new owners, they probably could easily afford to extend his stay at the San Siro. The latest rumors out of Italy are indeed prognosticating along such lines, with talks about his future set to being next week apparently.
Pašalić has yet to kick a football in anger for Chelsea since signing in 2014, but he’s now had three successful loans in the Spanish (Elche), French (Monaco), and Italian (AC Milan) top divisions. Sure, he’s not a massive name to get everyone excited during the summer transfer window, but at this point, it’s tough to argue that he couldn’t be ready to be a useful player in the Premier League as well. (Though Pašalić seems happy enough in Milan, so perhaps that would be his preference.)