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Have AC Milan or Juventus got the better of the Higuain and Bonucci swap?

Daniel Anwar | 2 August 2018

Star striker for a defensive rock

Juventus and AC Milan are on the verge of completing a huge deal that will see Gonzalo Higuain move to the San Siro, with Leonardo Bonucci and Mattia Caldara moving in the opposite direction.

Everything has been agreed between all parties and the players have had their medicals today. But who’s getting the better end of the deal? The Coral News Team take a look…

Gonzalo’s goals

After signing Cristiano Ronaldo for £105m and putting him on a huge contract, Juventus were always going to have to balance the books by moving one of their other forwards on.

Higuain has scored 55 goals during his two years in Turin, but he was the obvious candidate to go. He’ll be 31-years-old in December and isn’t likely to start with Ronaldo around.

Paulo Dybala’s immense potential and the tactical options Mario Mandzukic provides arguably offer more to the team than his finishing now.

But that’s not to say Milan have got a dud. He’s still a clinical finisher, which is what Gennaro Gattuso’s team are crying out for. The Rossoneri scored 56 league goals last term, which was the lowest return of any top six side by some distance.

They have lots of creative players, but lack an expert marksman. Patrick Cutrone was the only player in the squad who scored more than 10 goals in all competitions last season.

If Higuain is given service, he’ll score plenty of goals.

Short-term gain?

Juventus have got one of the world’s best defenders back in Bonucci. The Italy international was part of the “BBC” backline, alongside Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini, that had served them so well until his departure last summer.

With Ronaldo and Bonucci on board, the Turin club are 2/5 to win Serie A for an incredible eighth consecutive year. And they’re 6/1 to win the Champions League that has eluded them, second only to Manchester City (5/1).

But Ronaldo is now 33-years-old, while that fabled back three has a combined age of 101-years-old.

His return slightly strengthens them for the next year or two, but there’s a big rebuilding job looming in the near future. Losing Caldara, one of the best young defenders in Italy, doesn’t help matters.

Who’ll be happier?

Juventus had to get Higuain off the books, but they’ve significantly strengthened a rival in doing so.

Milan have addressed their biggest flaw by signing the Argentine. Caldara and Alessio Romagnoli could also conceivably play together in the heart of defence for years to come. It looks like they’ve got the better end of the deal.

As good as Bonucci is, he isn’t a game-changer for Juve. They still had the best defence in the league without him.

The two new additions to Milan could make all the difference and help them secure their long-awaited return to the Champions League. They’re also 20/1 to clinch an unlikely title win.

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