La Liga side Sevilla have rekindled their interest in AC Milan’s Spain international, Suso and could push to acquire his services earlier than next summer with a swap deal involving some cash and Franco Vázquez, according to the latest reports.
Suso has been great for Milan since signing for the club, especially last season – which contributed to his being called up for Spain’s international fixtures – and has been used in various roles under the three coaches that have managed him at the club so far. However, he has not delivered properly on some of the tasks he has been given on the pitch and it has caused a few problems for his coaches as they sought how best to utilise the very talented 25-year old to Milan’s benefit. These issues never affected the Spaniard’s game, as he constantly delivered when he had no restrictions to his game, to the general delight of his coaches and teammates.
Despite his great performances, however, Suso’s future with the Rossoneri was up for debate due to doubts arising over his ability to play in Marco Giampaolo’s preferred 4-3-1-2 system as a trequartista. He had already played in the same role under Vincenzo Montella and sometimes under Gennaro Gattuso, but had few good performances in the role. Several clubs were considering a move for Suso over the summer transfer window but he chose to remain with Milan, impressing in the preseason and earning praise from Giampaolo for his performances. Just recently, it was reported that Milan had pencilled in talks with Suso’s agent over a possible renewal of his deal in February.
Suso’s current contract expires in 2022, however, so there is no urgency regarding his renewal. The increment of his wages from €3.5m-a-year to €5m-a-year as well as the release clause (€38m) built into the agreement, however, is the subject of the talks which Milan and Suso’s contingent will be having. But almost immediately after the reports about the possible contract renewal discussions between Milan and Suso’s contingent surfaced, new reports surfaced about Sevilla preparing a swap deal in the January transfer window involving some cash and former Palermo man, Franco Vázquez.
Suso was linked with a move to Sevilla in the summer as Sevilla sporting director Monchi identified Suso as a backup option to Steven Bergwijn, per MARCA. Current Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui is a big fan of the winger’s talent as they both spent time in the Spain U-21 squad which Lopetegui once managed.
Vázquez is a pure trequartista, and has excelled in that role in all the clubs he has played for so far, and is as versatile as Suso in that he can play on the wings as well. So how does he compare to Suso?
Vázquez is a quick, talented and mobile left-footed player, who, despite not possessing great pace, possesses good vision and passing ability, as well as excellent dribbling skills and technique, which makes him an effective assist provider. In his time in Italy with Palermo, he was one of the top assist providers in the 2014/15 Serie A season with ten assists. Since swapping Italy for Spain, Vázquez has amassed 13 assists in 94 league appearances and has contributed 13 goals as well. In addition to his creative abilities, he is also capable of contributing with goals, due to his accurate striking ability from distance.
Suso, on the other hand, is also a talented and mobile left-footed player who doesn’t possess great pace. Like Vázquez, however, he is creative and technically gifted and possesses the skill to beat opponents on the ball, and solid playmaking abilities which enables him to set the tempo of his team’s play. However, many things put the Spaniard above the Argentine as can be seen from the infographic above.
With the exception of defence, Suso trumps Vázquez in every area – the image speaks for itself. Milan will be risking losing Suso if those talks don’t happen soon because even though the news only stated Sevilla’s interest, there are other clubs lining up for the Spaniard. Despite starting all games so far in the Serie A, Suso may still find it difficult under Giampaolo and will gladly move to a club which will allow him play comfortably from his favoured position, the right-wing.
Milan will also be losing at least 15 goal involvements (goals and assists) in all competitions if these reports prove to be true and Suso leaves for Sevilla pending the outcome of the discussions between both clubs. Despite Vázquez’s talents, he’s not as effective as Suso going forward and at best has managed more than 15 total involvements just twice in his career. This is not especially encouraging for a club who is struggling to score goals.
However, what Milan can gain from the swap if it does happen, is a player who has enough energy to keep up consistent performances all season. Vázquez is a tireless runner who bares it all on the pitch for his team, and will gladly track back to help the defence. One of his unspoken qualities which Giampolo will appreciate is the consistency with which he runs every game. This edge he offers will put defenders in the Serie A under pressure a lot and could lead to errors.
Suso is happy at Milan and has reiterated his desire to stay and grow with the club, and he has the potential to set San Siro alight and spark the resurgence of Milan as one of Europe’s elite clubs again. Milan will do well to keep him for a while longer and stave-off all challenges.