Transfer deadline day brought Milan fans the long-awaited news that Kaka would once again play at the San Siro, this time on a two-year-deal.
The Brazilian spent the best years of his career with the Rossoneri and failed to live up to expectations at Real Madrid.
At the age of 31, four years after departing, Kaka is back where he belongs and will seek to recapture the form that earned him the 2007 Ballon d’Or award.
The question now is: where will he play at Milan?
Between 2003 and 2009, the midfielder was famed for his advanced playmaking position. Armed with some of the best ball-control and dribbling speed around, Kaka’s influence in attack was as great as anyone else at the time.
However, somewhere along the way, that ability appears to have regressed slightly, most notably under Jose Mourinho. It’s no secret that Kaka lost his his first-team status in Madrid, but even when he did play, it was sometimes in a much more central position than would have been dreamed of at Milan.
Having said that, the player did manage to score three La Liga goals last season against Levante, Real Valladolid and Deportivo. In each of those three games, the midfielder’s Heat Map shows that his movement was a throwback to the Kaka of old, his location almost exclusively in the opposition half.
One aspect of the player that does appear to have suffered over the last four years is Kaka’s dribbling, this is proven by the fact the veteran playmaker completed just 12 of 42 attempted take-ons last-term, an uncharacteristically low tally.
With Kevin-Prince Boateng having moved to Schalke, there is a space for Kaka to fill -either as the most advanced of a midfield three in Allegri’s set-up, or as a trequartista in behind the striking pair.
Mario Balotelli, Alessandro Matri, Stephan El Shaarawy and Giampaolo Pazzini all promise to be the ones benefiting from such a presence - as Kaka managed to craft more than one scoring chance per game on average last season, making 25 in just 19 appearances.
This gives Kaka the license to step in alongside Ricardo Montolivo as puppeteer-in-chief once more at the San Siro, and he should thrive when handed increased responsibilities on his return to Serie A.