Rami -- the solution to Milan's defensive headache?

Posted by Sumeet Paul

Adil Rami has been dropped by Valencia following a critical radio interview.AssociatedAdil Rami is close to joining AC Milan.

While we await official confirmation from Milan regarding Adil Rami's initial loan move from Valencia, the French defender arrived in the city on Friday evening ahead of undergoing a medical. Having bemoaned the lack of investment in defence over the summer, is the 27-year-old the solution?

The outspoken Frenchman arrives after being suspended by the La Liga outfit for his recent comments regarding his team-mates and former coach. As a result, he was made available immediately to begin training with Milan while Adriano Galliani will have the option to make it a permanent move in the summer for around €7 million.

Initial reservations focus on the way he has departed Spain, but given Massimiliano Allegri's talent of managing strong characters in the dressing room, there is a sense that that will not be an issue moving forward.

Therefore, the answer must then be based on his ability on the pitch. Considering his experience and characteristics, the early judgment would be that it is a sensible move from Milan, as they finally address a problem area that has blighted their progress so far this season.

Much has been made of the Philippe Mexes and Cristian Zapata partnership, particularly considering their relatively impressive defensive record from last season. However, having conceded thirteen goals already this year with only Bologna and Sassuolo conceding more, it is clear that changes had to be made.

Mattia De Sciglio returns from injury after the international break, and along with Ignazio Abate there is widespread acknowledgment that Milan possess full-backs that can perform at a high level for years to come for both club and country.

However, the problem area has been in the centre and Rami's arrival will not only put more pressure on Zapata and Mexes to improve their performances, but if he is to be installed straight into the line-up in January he will arguably represent an immediate improvement.

There had been ideal solutions which would have fitted the club's ethos in the summer as they targeted young Italian players, but those targets have since been signed elsewhere.

As a result, Galliani has arguably worked well in getting a talented individual for a lower price tag and it will now be up to Rami to deliver after reports had claimed that he turned down a number of clubs from England and Italy.

After completing the formalities of his move coupled with his circumstances at Valencia, Rami will benefit from training with his new team-mates for the next two months before being available for selection.

If he is to form an integral part of the backline for the second half of the season, then it will be an ideal opportunity to ensure he builds chemistry with his preferred partner, whether that is Mexes or Zapata.

In the short-term, Allegri will have a decision to make on who replaces the suspended Mexes for the next four games. Daniele Bonera and Matias Silvestre both return from injury, and the increased competition will ensure the squad is sharper and more focused after the international break.

What do you make of the Rami move? What is the ideal centre-back partnership?

For all the latest Milan and Serie A news, you can follow me on Twitter: @italiafooty

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