AC Milan have definitely become weaker, says Merkel

The young midfielder feels the 2011 Serie A champions are no longer the team they once were due to recent high-profile departures, but is confident they will bounce back
Genoa starlet Alexander Merkel believes AC Milan have lost a lot of quality this summer, but insists the club will continue to compete at the highest level.

Both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva left San Siro for Paris Saint-Germain in July, but while the former Rossoneri midfielder lamented their departures, he believes the side are too big to struggle without the prized pair.

"Milan have certainly become weaker. They've lost two fundamental players in Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva," Merkel was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

"However, we should not forget that Milan are a big club. They will also do well without these two players."

Merkel left Milan for Genoa on a permanent basis earlier in the summer, but he admits he would have been happy to stay put.

"It would have been great to stay at Milan, but now I'm only thinking about Genoa," added Merkel.

Merkel is a product of the Stuttgart youth academy, but left the Bundesliga side for Milan in 2008.