By 90Min
July 22, 2019

When Li Yonghong took over Milan back in 2017, many Rossoneri fans thought the 'banter era' was over, when actually it was just the beginning of a new 'banter era'. 

The club had splashed out nearly €200m on new players that summer, most of whom had turned out to be pretty mediocre at best. Li Yonghong soon lost the club to a vulture fund (long story) and now Milan have been banned from the Europa League this season for breaching FFP. You couldn't make it up. 

Anyways, in terms of recruitment, it's difficult to match the bizarreness of some the signings made in the late Berlusconi era (remember Kévin Constant?). A number of these signings were strikers, with the club never really managing to find their replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimović. This has changed only recently with the arrival of Krzysztof Piątek and it remains to be seen whether he can reach that level.  

With André Silva (who could only manage two league goals for the Rossoneri) set to leave for Monaco after a loan spell away at Sevilla, here is a list of six other strikers you could be forgiven for forgetting they even played for Milan. 


Alessandro Matri

CHRISTOF STACHE/GettyImages

Born near Milan and relatively successful with JuventusMilan fans were probably pleased when Alessandro Matri re-signed for the club in August 2013. His track record was decent; he had scored 27 goals in two seasons at Juve and was prolific for Cagliari.

Four months down the line, Matri had scored just one measly goal for Milan and was offloaded to fellow Serie A side Fiorentina. He didn't do a whole lot better there. He subsequently moved on loan to Genoa the following season where he was decent, but struggled upon his return to Juventus six months later. Another unsuccessful loan move, this time to Lazio, followed. He was finally sold to Sassuolo in the summer of 2016 and is now often seen warming the bench at the Mapei Stadium. 

Matri's best moment in a Milan shirt was when he made one of football's shortest ever substitutions after he came on for five seconds during a pre-season friendly against Real Madrid. The clip is on YouTube and to be fair to him, he did see the funny side. 


 Luiz Adriano

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'Who?' was probably your initial response to seeing that name. A quick look on Wikipedia soon reveals that he's spent most of his career in Ukraine, scoring for fun with Shakhtar Donetsk. His form for them led to Milan paying €8m for him in the summer of 2015.

He struggled with form and injuries during his time at San Siro, scoring just six times in his 36 appearances for Milan and barely playing during his last six months at the club. He was sold to Russian side Spartak Moscow in January 2017 after a move to China failed, and he's been pretty decent there to be fair. 


Nikola Kalinić 

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After a prolific couple of seasons for Fiorentina, Nikola Kalinić completed a move to San Siro on loan with an obligation to buy for €25m in 2017. Some eyebrows were raised, seeing as Milan had just spent big money on André Silva, but, on the face of it, it was a smart signing. 


His goal return that season? Just six goals in 41 appearances. He was rightfully the subject of derision of Milan fans on Twitter throughout the season as Patrick Cutrone emerged as Milan's premier striker. 


So the Rossoneri probably thanked their lucky stars that Atlético Madrid took him off their hands the following summer, causing football fans worldwide to scratch their hands and wonder why someone like Diego Simeone would think to sign him. Safe to say, he hasn't been a success. 


Andriy Shevchenko (Second Spell)

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Okay, okay, this one's probably a little unfair. Andriy Shevchenko is without question a Milan legend and is still their second most prolific scorer of all time - scoring a whopping 175 goals for the Rossoneri. 

Whether it was age or a failure to adapt to the Premier League, Shevchenko struggled for goals following a move to Chelsea in the summer of 2006 and two seasons later, he was back in Milan. 

Shevchenko didn't score a single goal in his 18 league appearances for Milan and he was on the bench for much of the 2008/09 season. That summer, he returned to Chelsea and was sold on to Dynamo Kyiv, where he ended his career three years later. 


Mario Balotelli (Second Spell)

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Just like Shevchenko, Mario Balotelli returned to Milan after a failed spell in the Premier League. He had scored a whopping 30 goals in 54 appearances for I Rossoneri and it was hoped he could revive his career there after a catastrophic season with Liverpool.

And once again, just like Shevchenko, Balotelli struggled in his second spell at the club. Balo could only manage a solitary league goal for Milan in 20 appearances, and spent a large portion of the season injured. He returned to Liverpool that summer and subsequently moved to French side Nice, where he rediscovered his goalscoring touch...for a while. 

Now a free agent following his departure from Marseille, Balotelli has been linked with a move back to Serie A and was most recently in the news for paying a bar owner to drive his moped into the sea. 


Gianluca Lapadula 

Marco Luzzani/GettyImages

Gianluca Lapadula's CV prior to joining Milan in 2016? Playing for no less than 12 clubs in nine years, most of whom were in the Italian lower leagues, and one incredibly prolific season for Pescara in Serie B. This made the Rossoneri decide to pay €9m for him. 

He was okay for Milan, scoring eight goals in 27 appearances for the club but quite clearly wasn't good enough for them, especially after Li Yonghong took over and splashed the cash on supposedly better strikers. 

Lapadula was moved on to Genoa the following season, getting a similar goalscoring return but also struggling with injuries. He's now been sent out on loan to Serie A new-boys Lecce. 

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