The Belgian joined the Rossoneri from Anderlecht in the winter transfer window.
AC Milan have opted to sign Alexis Saelemakers permanently on a deal until 2024. The Belgian youngster joined the Rossoneri on a loan deal in the winter transfer exchange, with Milan had the option to buy him permanently at the end of this season. Despite enjoying less game time under Stefano Pioli, Milan have now decided to tie Saelemakers to the club for four more years. The Belgian is said to have cost Rossonerri a fee of €7m – including the loan amount.
The club’s official website read as follows: (h/t SempreMilan)
“AC Milan announces having exercised the option to buy Alexis Saelemaekers on a permanent basis. The Belgian player has signed a contract with the Club until 30 June 2024.”
Alexis Saelemakers – a player for the future
Upon the Belgian’s arrival – considered as one of the shrewd signings – there was a lot of speculation regarding how could he impact the struggling Milan side after he had shown enough promises with his boyhood club, Anderlecht.
Surprisingly, Saelemakers hasn’t had the best of the start to his life in Serie A after being constantly overlooked by Pioli, who was struggling to get results. Although he had sporadic chances to feature in the Rossoneri shirt, none of them came as a starter, thereby raising a lot of ifs and buts over his future. Then arrived the important clash against Roma, who are simultaneous pushing harder for a place in the top four. The 21-year-old, who was unsurprisingly not in the starting line-up, showcased his talent, providing the key pass for Rossoneri’s winning goal.
Saelemakers’ track record at Anderlecht was quite impressive as he had racked up a total of 2 goals and 6 assists in the Jupiler Pro League for the past two seasons. It might look like a big leap for the Belgian U-21 star in such a quick period; nevertheless, he has the potential to be a success at Milan.
The former Anderlecht star mainly operates as a winger on the left channel due to his left-footedness. But he also can operate in a slightly deeper role as an advanced/ free-roaming playmaker – as he carries the traits for being so.
While Calhanoglu, Samu Castillejo, Bonaventura and Lucas Paqueta have struggled to be consistent this season, Saelemakers can supersede all of them if Milan are ready to trust his slow progress.
Milan are currently seventh in the Serie A table and will be facing SPAL, Lazio and Juventus in a span of a week. It will be interesting to see how Saelemakers would be part of Pioli’s game plans.