Franck Kessie: The new beating heart of Milan

Harry Burford

The 2017 summer transfer window has undoubtedly proven one of great hope and newfound ambition down at the San Siro for AC Milan. With a whole host of exciting new options on board at the Rossoneri, Vincenzo Montella’s side remain quietly confident of finally re-staking their claim among the upper echelons of the prestigious Italian game.

With each of Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Hakan Calhanoglu and Ricardo Rodriguez recently drafted in over the summer among several other impressive names each looking to do the business for Milan next season – Juventus may be forced to reevaluate their once untouchable status as fearless out-and-out favourites for that illustrious Serie A Scudetto.

Yet within such a mix of well-versed experience and attacking young talent, AC Milan have nonetheless sourced themselves one remarkable new summer addition who could really serve to excel in front of the San Siro faithful.

20-year-old Franck Kessie has arrived among his newfound teammates on a two-year loan deal from Atalanta. He may seem somewhat brash, raw and largely unpolished within these particularly early stages of his top-flight career – but make no mistake about it, for this is a player with enough exciting potential to truly take the Italian Serie A by storm.

With such a talent on board at their club this season, the proud Rossoneri clearly mean business.

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Before achieving something of a breakthrough season with Atalanta throughout the previous 2016/17 domestic campaign, Franck Kessie had seemingly always plied his trade as a no-nonsense defender. The 20-year-old was seen as a perfect addition among his respective back-line thanks to his natural aggression and undeniable physical prowess when seeking to claim possession from the opposition.

Yet after staking his claim further up the pitch at Atalanta for much of last season, and subsequently thriving as a brash box-to-box enforcer with the ball at his feet and the goal locked firmly in his sights – Franck Kessie has seen himself transform from a forgettable ball-playing centre-back, into an out-in-out force in the middle of the park for his latest employers.

The Ivorian is noticeably tall, predictably strong in stature and totally fearless when pitted up against supposedly superior players with years of heard-earned experience residing under their belts. Now that Kessie will be playing for a club like AC Milan, with a respected and distinguished fanbase that runs all across the globe – great expectations will rightfully be thrust upon his widely coveted shoulders. The future really is his to behold.

Franck Kessie will theoretically offer AC Milan something they have been desperately missing in recent years. Via his marauding style in the middle of the park and keen tendency to launch himself into the tackle, the Ivorian international is bound to install a newfound sense of fight within Vincenzo Montella’s current starting XI, allowing the Rossoneri to establish themselves as serious Serie A title contenders once again.

But the rapidly emerging 20-year-old’s game isn’t just about brute power and strength. Far from it in fact. What makes Kessie somewhat unique is his impressive ability to merge close-control manoeuvres and intelligent positional-plays, with his boisterous ball-winning skills and last-ditch defending all across the park.

The recently acquired AC Milan man represents a decent passer of the ball who can attempt to find his fellow Rossoneri counterparts anywhere inside the final third. He remains adequately composed with both feet and is not frightened of taking on his opponents among rather testing scenarios.

Although Kessie must currently go down as a distinct master of no one specific skill-set, this impressive jack of all trades is continuing to progress at an alarmingly influential rate.

Should AC Milan seek to land Kessie on a permanent deal once his current two-year loan agreement finally reaches its natural conclusion, the Ivorian international will reportedly cost as little as €20million. This initial fee may indeed portray something of a steep asking price for an ultimately unproven player with little top-flight experience – but after a season or two of tearing up the opposition whilst operating down at the San Siro – such a valuation could easily go onto represent a real bargain for the Rossoneri within the grand scheme of things.

Franck Kessie is by no means the complete midfielder of course. His overall passing accuracy could do with a little tightening in the cold light of day, and perhaps the 20-year-old ought to work on his already questionable disciplinary record if he is to really see himself develop into a worthy icon in the red & black of AC Milan.

But as the Ivorian international has already gotten off the mark for his new team in the recent 3-0 demolition of Crotone, with the vast majority of the 2017/18 campaign still left open and ready for further showcases of brilliance from the young up and coming midfielder – AC Milan have every reason to expect great things from their new box-to-box enforcer.

With everything fairly taken into account on the emerging Serie A favourite, the immediate future simply couldn’t look any brighter for young Franck Kessie.

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