During the incredible unbeaten run established post-lockdown, Milan fans could be forgiven for thinking the squad has balance and is nearly complete.
That is a stark contrast to before the season began when it seemed that the squads available to Inter and Juventus were much deeper and stocked with more guaranteed quality.
However, Calciomercato.com notes how the excellent first part of the season from Stefano Pioli’s team made everything seem gold, even though perhaps it never will be as good as it appeared. After the Christmas break, with 4 defeats in the last 11 Serie A matches, Milan’s average points have dropped. They amassed 34 points in the first 14 rounds of the season (average of 2.4 per game), and 19 points in the following 11 rounds (average of 1.7).
In the most recent part of the season – thanks to the succession of close matches – injuries to key players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ismael Bennacer among others have meant that Pioli can no longer consistently count on the starting eleven who had made his and the club’s fortunes change from September to December.
Milan’s reserves have shown all their limits, both from a technical point of view but also in terms of their mentality. Players like Brahim Diaz (16 appearances and 1 goal in the league) were brilliant at the start of the season but disappointing in the recent period, while Samu Castillejo (19 matches and 1 goal in the league) has shown the same limits for a while.
Diogo Dalot and Pierre Kalulu have not covered themselves in glory even if little was expected from the latter, while the January signings of Soualiho Meité and Mario Mandzukic – net of physical troubles – never proved to be up to the same standard.
Milan must reflect for the rest of the season and, above all, make choices related to the summer transfer market.