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When the first half of the season came to a close, Milan ended it with a limp one nil defeat at home to Roma. As the New Year began, despite edging past Cagliari in their first match the Rossoneri could only managed draws in their next two matches. It seemed that all of a sudden the league leaders’ challenge for the title was in jeopardy.

But, in the last week Milan transfer guru Andrea Galliani engineered three smart, cheap and quality buys for the club to ensure Max Allegri has the resources to deliver the club its first Scudetto since 2004.

In addition to Antonio Cassano, who the club signed on the opening day of the transfer window, the club has secured the services of Dutch duo Mark van Bommel, Urby Emmanuelson and Didac Vila from Espanyol.

Since arriving at the club, Cassano has been nothing short of a revelation. So often last year the Milan attack looked devoid of ideas as it lacked a player with the creative genius to unlock defences. But in Cassano, the side now has such a player and when he has played the Milan attack has been entertaining, fluent and effective.

The acquisition of Antonio Cassano has ensured that Milan have the most lethal attack in the league, if they did not already before. But the arrival of Urby Emmanuelson and Mark van Bommel will too have a telling effect on the side.

Milan, for a long time now, has lacked depth in midfield. As it so happens, this lack of depth has been vastly exposed in the last couple of weeks as no less than all six of Milan’s midfield options have succumbed to injury. Gennaro Gattuso, Massimo Ambrosini, Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Kevin Prince Boateng and Mathieu Flamini are all unavailable currently.

By signing Mark van Bommel and Urby Emmanuelson, who can play at full back too, the team now has two quality players to rely on. Van Bommel, in particular, has been one of the world’s better defensive midfielders this past decade and though he may be 34 years of age, his experience, class and competitiveness will greatly aid Milan’s title tilt.

Like in midfield, Milan has long had issues at full back too. Here it has been more of problem of quality than depth as the club seem to have had on its roster a plethora of very average full backs in recent times. But the arrivals of Didac Vila and Urby Emmanuelson have for now solved this problem. The former is a former Spanish under 20 international and at still the young age of 22 years, the Spaniard has been tipped for a bright future which now will be in the colours of Milan.

Often criticised in the past for his lack of nous in the transfer market, Andrea Galliani has proven again that he is a most capable transfer guru for Milan, as he has been in times gone by. Not only has Galliani delivered four players that ensure Allegri now has a squad with the capacity to deliver silverware, but the club has hardly spent a penny too.

Mark van Bommel was brought in on a free transfer whilst Antonio Cassano was a steal at two and a half million Euros. Urby Emmanuelson cost the club one million and seven hundred thousand Euros whilst Didac Vila was the most expensive at the still modest sum of four million Euros. Altogether, the club has spent just over eight million Euros and it has brought in four quality players that are a nice mix of youth and experience.

The club and Andrea Galliani have to be applauded for their January efforts. The arrival of Robinho, Kevin Prince Boateng and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the summer already transformed Milan, at least in attack, into a much more competitive side. Now, with the club’s latest arrivals, Milan is a truly changed side, one with the quality and depth to go all the way this season and win the Serie A.

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