[Editor’s note: Niang has completed his loan move to Watford hours after the following article was published]
M’Baye Niang is set to undergo his medical and complete the transfer to Watford. The player has not turned in his best performances in recent matches, and A.C. are looking to sell him during this transfer window. The funds will most likely go towards funding a new purchase, focusing on the midfield and defensive areas.
Niang was originally purchased from SC Caen in 2012. After a successful loan at Genoa, it looked as the youngster would finally succeed in the Serie A. M’Baye Niang started the season off well with three goals and two assists in his first seven games for the Rossoneri. This form continued to deteriorate, however, and he was no longer providing the performances Milan wanted of him. The Frenchman was known to be inconsistent, and the next games proved it. He was replaced by Bonaventura, and he was unable to get out of the slump, missing two crucial penalties as well, one against Roma in a 1-0 defeat.
Conflicting reports have come in concerning the fee for the player. The Premier League side will pay €500,000 for the loan, and they will have the option to buy him at the end of season. If Niang were to score ten goals for them in these six months, they would have to purchase him from the Rossoneri. The two figures in question for the purchase of the player are €16 million and €18 million. Either way, this is a huge jump in price for a player who was purchased for just €3 million five years ago from SC Caen.
Watford are taking a risk on the player, especially considering his disastrous form in recent weeks. If he does peak, it could be a great bargain for a potential world-class talent.
Niang seemed to be getting on the right track after his successful loan at Genoa, but a series of lackluster performances all but eliminated that hope. Watford has been in need of a winger, and Niang could be the right match for them, especially if he performs the way he is capable of. The funds will also significantly help Milan in the transfer window. It is still unclear if the funds will go to the Chinese or if they will be used to make a last minute acquisition for Milan, but there have been rumors circulating about that Milan are interested in a winger or a midfielder, some names being Ocampos from Genoa and Luiz Gustavo from Wolfsburg.
Milan will be taking a risk, and it’s interesting to see how this move develops. It could be catastrophic for the club if Niang reaches his peak, and Milan fans know all too well that feeling; they have sold Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Riccardo Saponara, the former becoming one of the best strikers in football and the latter a promising youngster.
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