Confirming rumours and reports that had surfaced in the previous few days, Croatian midfielder Mario Pasalic has completed his loan move to Serie A side AC Milan.
Signed from Croatian club Hadjuk Split in the summer of 2014, Pasalic was immediately loaned out to La Liga minnows, Elche, for whom he played a starring role in midfield and helped them finish outside the relegation zone (they were eventually relegated for financial mismanagement, though).
Last season, he was loaned out to AS Monaco, who were also due to take part in the UEFA Europa League. Scoring seven times, Pasalic was tried out in multiple midfield roles but didn’t quite impact games in ways that were expected of him. He made 29 appearances (22 starts) in all competitions and could have perhaps seen a few more, had a back injury not brought upon a premature end to his season in February.
Despite his agent claiming that his injury has been resolved, Pasalic was reported to have undergone extensive medical scans to ensure he's fit to play, which is understandable given that he suffered from a herniated disc problem. The loan deal is said to cost Milan an initial fee of €200,000, rising up to a maximum of one million if the minimum playing time quota for the player is not met.
Milan manager, Vincenzo Montella spoke a few words about Pasalic, too, indicating what kind of role he would like to try the Croatian out in.
Although there is plenty of competition for Pasalic for a place in the Milan midfield, at first look the move seems like a step in the right direction. Hopefully he can cement his place in the side and return to Chelsea a much improved player.