Romano: Arsenal stunned by AC Milan signing

Ismael Bennacer was a superb signing for AC Milan but at Arsenal there is great regret for letting him go.

There is no doubt that Ismael Bennacer was a super signing from AC Milan. The Algerian midfielder arrived among general skepticism from Empoli for 16 million euros but he slowly established himself as one of the best midfielders in Italy and beyond. Now the 23-year-old is worth triple what the Rossoneri paid one year ago.

In the Algerian midfielder’s contract there is a 50 million euro release clause, which can only be exercised in 2021 by foreign clubs. The Rossoneri are already thinking about offering him the renewal and remove the release clause, or at least increase it.

Journalist Fabrizio Romano reports that at Arsenal still cannot understand how it was possible to let Bennacer escape. The Algerian had played in the youth sector of the Gunners and recorded just appearance for the first team of Arsenal. The English club in the summer 2019 did not exercise the clause that would have allowed them to bring Bennacer back to London.

Unai Emery, coach of Arsenal at that time, did not consider Bennacer suitable to his project, so AC Milan were able to finalize the operation with Empoli. For Arsenal it would have been enough to equalize the Rossoneri’s offer of 16 million to sign the Algerian star.

Paolo Maldini was the mastermind behind the operation. The AC Milan technical director insisted that Ismael would be the perfect player for the Rossoneri. A phone call from him unlocked the deal and convinced the former Arsenal to join AC Milan. A great signing for the Red and Black while in London they have big regrets.

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