This article is written by Chelsea fan George. Check him out on Twitter @georjecb.
Gianluigi Donnarumma has received a lot of abuse lately, and in all honesty I think it's (mostly) unjust. In case you're not aware, it recently came out that Donnarumma has decided not to renew his contract at AC Milan which ends in 2018. Shortly after this news came to light, social media went mad at the 18-year-old calling him everything under the sun - one of the phrases I saw most regularly was 'money-grabbing snake'.
Now, if fans of AC Milan want to be annoyed and feel as though they're being betrayed by one of their own, then fair enough. But the whole football world has jumped on his back. Not only has he received verbal abuse, but he's also been taunted, had fake money thrown at him while playing for Italy and has even been sent death threats. No player deserves that, and especially not a teenager.
One of the main attacks on Donnarumma has been the argument that no young player playing for their boyhood club should leave for money. Firstly, if he left, it wouldn't be for money - he'd be leaving for trophies. Not every player wants to have a career where you're considered a one-club man and legend, without winning much silverware. Although AC Milan are a decent side going in the right direction, there's no guarantee that they'll get back to the stage they were a decade ago, so there's a high chance he could retire without a single trophy to his name. Zlatan is allowed to leave his boyhood club Malmo, yet Donnarumma can't do the same? It's ridiculous. Loyalty in football should be admired, but it shouldn't be something every player has to strive for.
Lastly, Gianluigi Donnarumma's agent is Mino Raiola. This is the same guy who manages the likes of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. If you're Raiola, you want your best players to always be on the move so you get as much money via agent fees as possible. I'm not saying his agent made the decision for him, but you can bet he had a big say in Donnarumma's choice not to sign a new contract.
All I'm saying is that I think we should cut Donnarumma some slack. After all, he's only 18.