Cagliari’s signature of Nahitan Nandez this summer has been one of the best pieces of business this season. The 23-year-old’s move went unnoticed. But Nandez has been one of the best midfielders in Serie A so far this term.
The Uruguayan has been key to helping Rolando Maran’s men climb up to as high as fourth in the table. While the likes of Robin Olsen, Radja Nainggolan and Joao Pedro have been important too, but Nandez’s qualities have shined through.
In a 4-3-1-2 shape, Nandez has played on the right of the midfield three. He uses his work rate to win the ball in midfield and take it forward into the attacking areas. Nandez also uses his engine to cover a lot of ground.
He has the graft and resiliency one can associate with a South American midfielder. He isn’t quite like his compatriot Lucas Torreira as he is more proficient while attacking. But he is also versatile enough to play on the right of the midfield.
He did start at right wing-back against Inter, as Cagliari played a 3-5-2 shape. But the rest of the times, Nandez has started in midfield.
With a tally of one goal and three assists this season, the midfielder has won the sixth-highest number of tackles per game for the club. He is creative and that has allowed him to play the fourth-highest key passes per game- 1.4. The former Boca Juniors man is second in the table for most dribbles per game– only behind fellow summer signing Marko Rog.
The way he has played so far, attention from bigger clubs is justified. Milan are interested and what makes the situation even more interesting is his contractual situation.
A report from TNT states that Nandez could be forced to change clubs midway this season because of the contractual troubles. There are differences between Cagliari and the player’s entourage when it comes to the contract terms. They could lead the midfielder leaving in January.
Milan should be licking their lips at the prospect of this. After that, they were deemed to be keen on the midfielder during his Boca days too.
Franck Kessie has been linked with the likes of Wolves, Tottenham, Arsenal and West Ham. The Ivorian was not called up for the recent Juventus game as he had arrived late for training. Reports state that he hasn’t been good enough in training either.
A constant criticism of Kessie has been his lack of technical ability. His work rate was hailed by Rino Gattuso, but he hasn’t done well this season. He is a polarising figure, even though he is very effective in parts.
It could be a case of his head being turned by an offer from Wolves in the summer. If that indeed is the case, Milan could make big money from his sale. The Rossoneri value him at £25 million. Since they signed him for £20 million, it will be a case of making a profit.
For the Uruguayan national team, Nandez played as an advanced midfielder or a right-winger in the FIFA World Cup in 2018. They’re the two positions he has always rotated in throughout his career- even at Boca.
His versatility and completeness as a player will make him a better addition to this Milan side than Kessie. The fact that his current side is well above the Rossoneri in the table shows that he is very much up to the Milan standard. If he keeps at his performances for Cagliari (like the others), he could take them into a European spot.
But if the contractual differences keep lingering around, Milan should not back away from signing him.