Stefano Pioli recently named his squad for the Champions League group stage and compared to last season, the selection was much easier. A testament to how well the Milan management thinned out the squad this summer.
Last season, as was expressed by Pioli on multiple occasions, Milan had too many players in the squad. The ironic part of the story is that the Rossoneri also lacked quality depth, but the situation has now changed for the better.
Giorgio Furlani and Geoffrey Moncada said goodbye to 14 players this summer and brought in 10 new ones. In other words, they made life much easier for Pioli with regards to the Champions League squad.
The manager named 23 players in the group stage squad, the maximum for Milan as they have only six homegrown players. The youngsters Marco Pellegrino and Luka Romero were left out and this was an easy decision for Pioli.
Last season, however, the manager was forced to leave out the likes of Yacine Adli, Malick Thiaw and Aster Vranckx. Of course, Ismael Bennacer’s return for a potential round of 16 will result in an additional exclusion (most likely Musah or Adli).
In any case, the easy exclusions Pioli had to make for the group-stage squad this season is a testament to how well the management did this summer on the mercato.