A.C. Milan fans can breathe a huge sigh of relief with the news that their prodigious young goalkeeping talent Gianluigi Donnaruma has signed a new contract, with the 17 year old signing a new deal that will keep him at the club until 2021.
The fact Donnaruma has put pen to paper will have bought an end to a slightly drawn out contract saga. Last month the player who represented Italy at the European Under 21 Championships was reportedly refusing to sign a new deal with the Serie A outfit but now there has been a u-turn on that decision with the player now committing to the club for the forseeable future.
This will be a huge boost to A.C. Milan as they look to try and return to previous heights although that will not be too easy as they have been on the outside looking in now for the best part of four seasons, in that time they have missed out on a Champions League place each time with 8th, 10th, 7th and 6th place finishes to their name during that time period.
They have not appeared in Europe’s top club competition since the 2013/14 campaign and then they bowed out at the Round of 16 stage. Not only that but they now longer have the esteemed record of being the last team to win back to back editions of the competition what with Real Madrid stealing their thunder after their 4-1 win over Juventus in early June.
Many will speculate as to why there has been a change of heart by Donnaruma and I think a lot of it can be put down to the naivety of youth, whether he alone has just made a poor decision initially or he has undertaken some bad advice is still unknown but one thing is for sure and that signing a new contract with his current employers is the smartest move for the player that became Italy’s youngest ever goalkeeper back in March.
Had the contract issues played out any longer then there would have been a long line of suitors ready to acquire the services of the 17 year old but ultimately would his next move see him be given so much first team football at such early age. The answer to that is likely to be no and therefore for his own personal development he is best suited to staying put in Milan.
The youngster was supposedly quoted with saying that he wanted to join Real Madrid instead of signing a new deal and that would have drawn the ire of the Milan Ultras, something that if you want anything resembling a modicum of success at the club is an act that you simply do not do.
Thankfully though this new contract signing should smooth things over and although these Ultras perhaps are not in the mood to forget this comments that were or were not made it will only take a penalty save or some form of heorics from Donnarumma to be their beloved number one again.