Never liked this signing. It was only tolerable because we got rid of Bonucci's 7.5m net salary and the club probably had not much of a choice since he rejected Manure's proposal.
He's a Gasperini CB, not an actual CB. It's not just the man-marking system. His CBs are more like box-to-box mids. His DMs are attacking midfielders. His wing-backs play like wing-forwards. Athleticism, hard work and skills are needed to succeed in this system, but comparisons should not be made with players outside the Gasperini world.
Mirabelli and bb!lanisti looked at Conti's goals/assists tally and thought they had found the new Maicon. Galliani looked at Bertolacci's goals/assist tally and thought he had found a new Hamsik. Leonardo and bb!lanisti looked at Caldara's goals tally and thought they had found a new Ramos.
He was awful in Juve's pre-season, which is why they accepted the swap without even hesitating. He comes to Milan and gets benched by Musacchio, who wasn't even highly rated by Rino who had perma-benched him immediately after replacing Montella. Outraged Milan fans couldn't understand "stupid Grintuso decision", but Caldara also didn't seem to understand football outside the Gasperini world when he was tested next to Romagnoli with the NT. Tested once in Europa League as well against Olympiakos where he looked equally lost, and then he had a not-terrible performance in the Coppa against Lazio. RnB saw this as proof that they were right about "stupid Grintuso decision", but we actually lost that game - at home - and Rino had fielded a Gasperini-esque 3-4-2-1. The Lazio goal came from a counter against no one but Conti, Kessie and Laxalt.
There were huge doubts surrounding him to begin with. Now, an Achilles tendon rupture and surgery and cruciate ligament rupture and surgery later it should be pretty fucking clear that he will be of no use for us in the coming years.
An 18-month loan back to Gasperini world is his only realistic chance of regaining at least a portion of his value. The loan terms are degrading. 15m buyout option, Atalanta only paying parts of his salary. But what are the alternatives? Paying the full salary of a useless player until his contract expires and he leaves for free? No club will propose to buy him out right. The likes of Inter might want to take him on loan, but the loan terms would not be much better, and it's not suitable loan destinations in Caldara's circumstances.
Blegh. It all started with the Bonucci signing.