With the World Cup well underway now and the lack of AC Milan games to celebrate/get irate about, we decided to rate all of the players for their performances in the season thus far.
It feels like the right way wrap up the first part of the campaign and the end of the calendar year, especially given the context that Milan are eight points off leaders Napoli and the transfer window will be open before Serie A resumes, thus giving the chance to fill some gaps. So without further ado, let’s get into it…
Maignan (6): The Frenchman started the campaign off the back of an amazing performance in the last third of the Scudetto winning season last year. Needless to say, the expectations were sky high and to that point the goalkeeper wasn’t at the expected level as he started off the new season in a shaky way.
He did eventually get into form, but unfortunately for him picked up an injury that ruled him out of France’s World Cup squad. So with that in mind and the fact that he conceded 8 goals in 7 games, keeping just 2 clean sheets, the rating seems fair.
Tatarusanu (6.5): The Romanian gets half a point higher than Maignan as he had a couple of questionable outings, but overall managed to replace the No.1 fairly well and the games that Milan lost were hardly his fault.
Tomori (6.75): The centre back also came off an amazing season, but struggled a little at the beginning of this one. He did manage to rebound and get into form, but was unfortunately snubbed by Gareth Southgate in the World Cup squad. As for Milan, the Englishman had some crucial blocks and interceptions in the last few league games and he will be eager to build on that.
Kalulu (6.5): Kalulu has also had a bit of a rollercoaster this season, but that’s also due to the many injuries that Milan have had at the back and the constant rotations that involved Kalulu playing in the middle or on the flank. It became quite obvious that the Frenchman feels more confident in the centre of the defence, but due to some average performances he gets a lower rating compared to Tomori.
Gabbia (7): Gabbia was probably the fourth or fifth choice at the back going into the season, but due to injuries and suspensions he got the chance to rack up quite a few starts and the Italian did not mess about as he was impeccable in most of those games. It will be interesting to see if Pioli will rely more on him, but the youngster seems determined to prove his worth.
Thiaw (6): The German only participated in a few games this season, half of which he seemed solid and the other half not so convincing, but that’s probably normal considering his age and the fact he joined the club and came to a new country in the summer.
Kjaer (6.5): The Dane hasn’t been as involved this season as he continues to fight off injuries, but he did do well when called upon and the defence actually conceded less with him on the pitch. Hopefully, he can find his form in the second half of the season and help the team even more.
Theo Hernandez (7.5): The Frenchman had a slow start to the season, similar to some of his team-mates, but gradually picked up the pace and proved just how good he is and how important his presence is. In terms of attack it feels like he’s not as efficient this season, but he still managed 2 goals and 2 assists in the league in addition to 2 assists in the Champions League.
In terms of his defensive work, though, the Frenchman is probably having his best season in that sense as most of the troubles for Milan have come through the right hand side whilst Theo has been very solid on the left.
Ballo-Toure (6.25): Ballo-Toure has featured very little this season, but did the job when called upon and of course scored a decisive goal in the dramatic win away at Empoli.
Calabria (6.75): Probably could be a tad higher in terms of ratings, but the Italian has been a crucial part of this Milan side and that was truly felt after he picked up an injury. His replacements on the right struggled and the the right-hand side has been underwhelming in his absence.
Dest (6): The American was horrific in his first couple of games in red and black and then looked a bit better, mainly in the attacking phase, as it’s obvious that he has the pace to beat his man. In the defensive phase, however, there’s a lot to be desired.
Tonali (6.75): The Italian has been crucial in the midfield alongside Bennacer and he also picked up some important assists and a goal in the league and the Champions League where the game was won because of that goal contribution. Good season thus far, but the feeling is that Tonali can do much more.
Bennacer (7.5): The Algerian gets the same ratings as Theo as he has been the engine in Milan’s midfield. There was probably just a game or two when Benancer wasn’t on the expected level, but for the majority of the matches he has been the vocal point for his team.
Pobega (6.25): The Italian didn’t start off great, but eventually gained some more confidence and seemed more calm. He picked up his first goal for Milan, but overall, has had an average season thus far.
Vranckx (6): The Belgian has had very little time on the pitch so we can’t really rate him that much, but he has shown some good flashes including a bright spell off the bench in the win over Fiorentina before the break.
Krunic (6.5): As usual, Rade Krunic has been solid when called upon in whatever position is asked of him and he continues to be the perfect squad player for Pioli.
De Ketelaere (5): It has not been a dream start for the Belgian as he has struggled to adapt to life in Milan after joining in the summer for a fee of over €30m. What’s more concerning is that he started off fairly well, but his performances declined rather than improved and it will be up to Pioli to get him back on track. With that said, his rating has not be low because of the price tag and expectations towards the player.
Brahim (6.5): Discussing Brahim is always so two-sided as he has those games where he seems unstoppable, but then goes off missing for a few games just to repeat the cycle afterwards. The Spaniard was crucial against Udinese and Juventus, but other than that he hasn’t really impressed as much and whilst it’s obvious to see his talent, it will be interesting to see if the management decide to trigger his buy-out option. Maybe Diaz will have a fantastic second half of the season, who knows.
Adli (6): The Frenchman seemed like he was going to feature a lot more following his somewhat impressive pre-season, but during the campaign we’ve seen very little of him and when we did, it was not impressive at all.
Leao (7.5): Arguably, the Portuguese could have a higher rating as he has managed 16 goal contributions across 20 games, but stats aside he has been somewhat inconsistent at times as he was also off to a slow start of the season so taking that into consideration and the fact that the expectations are sky high we think that 7.5, the same as Theo and Bennacer, seems fair.
Rebic (6.5): The Croatian somehow managed 3 goals and 2 assists in 10 Serie A appearances, but his performances have been far from impressive. It feels like the Croat has struggled to gain momentum after his multiple injuries across the last couple of years so it will be interesting to see if he can stay fit in the second half of the season.
Saelemaekers (6.5): The Belgian was another player that was unfortunate to pick up an injury and be forced to stay off the pitches for the remained of the year, but before that he managed 2 goals in 2 Champions League games where he also looked really sharp through the whole games, but failed to transfer that into the league, so an average season thus far.
Messias (6.5): Thre goals and an assist in 15 games aren’t the most impressive numbers for the Brazillian, but in all honesty nobody expected miracles from him and he’s done a decent job in the absence of Alexis.
Origi (5): Just as De Ketelaere has, the striker has been underwhelming to say the least as he’s offered little to nothing, excluding that one game against Monza where he picked up a goal and an assist.
Giroud (8): This may be a tad controversial, but we give Giroud the highest ratings as he has managed 9 goals and 5 assists in 19 games with little to no help from his colleagues in attack as only Leao has been consistent in that department excluding the Frenchman.
The 36-year-old scores goals in the Champions League to help Milan achieve their goal of getting out of the groups with 4 goals and 2 assists in 6 games, and we must mention yet another amazing performance against Inter, racking up a goal and an assist in that 3-2 win. A superb season for Giroud thus far.