Bryan Cristante's move to Benfica on transfer deadline day has drawn the ire of AC Milan fans, who have vented their anger on social networks.
Cristante, 19, has joined the Portuguese side on a permanent deal for a fee reported to be in the region of six million euros, despite showing plenty of promise with a goal on his full Serie A debut against Atalanta in January.
The midfielder -- who scored two goals in as many UEFA Youth League games for the Rossoneri and won the Golden Boy trophy at the Viereggio Cup in 2013 -- was a regular member of the first-team squad under both Massimiliano Allegri and Clarence Seedorf, and was predicted to be a future star of the club alongside Hachim Mastour.
Bem-vindo Cristante! | Welcome Cristante! | ¡Bienvenido Cristante! | Benvenuto Cristante! pic.twitter.com/9AhgaZR3c3
- Sport Lisboa Benfica (@SL_Benfica) September 1, 2014
But despite his progress with Milan, he now has the chance to deliver on that potential in Portugal -- much to the chagrin of the Rossoneri faithful.
"Let's remember this when, in two years' time, Benfica sell him on for a huge profit," read one of the comments on the club's Facebook page. "You want me to buy a season ticket?? Not even if you give It to me free. Earned 34 million, spent 4. Disgraceful," was another angry fan's view.
"So now you sell Cristante to Benfica, and when will [Riccardo] Saponara go??? It's a good job you wanted to focus on young players...like Muntari, Essien and co... You've lost all credibility. How sad for 'my' poor Milan!!!" wrote another angry fan.
The Rossoneri have sold Mario Balotelli, Robinho and Cristante and also lost Kaka this summer. Jeremy Menez and Alex both arrived on free transfers from Paris Saint-Germain with Fernando Torres the big-name arrival on loan from Chelsea, along with Marco Van Ginkel.
A late scramble on the transfer market also ended in farce on Monday, though, when the club announced the capture of Jonathan Biabiany before saying the deal was off when Cristian Zaccardo refused to join Parma.
"Lads like Cristante, Mastour, [Andrea] Petagna and [Andrej] Modic are the only hope we've got for a better future," commented another angry Milan fan. "After all, we can no longer afford to buy ready-made players so at least we should be growing some!! In two years at the latest, all of the old names we've got won't be here so we'll go and get some more veterans for free, without any prospects of growth or improvement."
In the meantime, Milan will parade Torres on Tuesday evening. The 30-year-old will be wearing at the San Siro for a year, looking to build on the 19 league goals he has scored in the past three seasons -- a far cry from the 18 he netted in 2009-10 season for Liverpool prior to joining Chelsea for 50 million pounds.