As the news has become official that Sandro Tonali has left Milan for Newcastle, it is worth looking at the impact that the young midfielder could have on his new team. Tonali has been a crucial part of what Milan have been building in the past two years. He started 31 league games in the team that won the Serie A just over a year ago. He followed that last season with an equally as impressive season, whilst taking on more playmaking responsibilities. In the 2021/2022 season he only got two league assists, but in the last campaign he registered an impressive seven assists.
Newcastle have good midfield options, that cover a range of attributes. Bruno Guimarães is the standout pick of their options. Guimarães is an excellent player, and balanced in his defensive and offensive responsibilities. Joe Willock and Joelinton are both far more offensive-minded.
Tonali will be a great balancer for the Newcastle midfield. He could either pair with Guimarães in a midfield pivot, or play in a three with one of Willock or Joelinton as the third man. He offers the versatility that perhaps Newcastle want in the side, even though he is best in a box-to-box role. But considering how Newcastle were linked with a move for Nicolo Barella, Tonali could be more of a number six than the Inter man, who is better off in an advanced eight role.
While Tonali also played in an advanced role during his time at Brescia and showed his versatile nature even there, he has always been more of a number six than Barella.
Acquiring Tonali is a huge statement, and an exciting addition for Newcastle, and they will have ambitions of continuing to build next season. For Milan, the blow will be huge, but they have acted quickly in signing Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Japtej Ghura | GIFN