Losing your number one goalkeeper is always going to arouse concerns and it is not something any team should have to get used to, but AC Milan can rest a little easier now than a year ago.
Calciomercato.com write how Milan are getting used to a pattern now. Mike Maignan has got another injury in the early part of the season which means coach Stefano Pioli is forced to resort to his back-up.
For two seasons it was Ciprian Tatarusanu, a protagonist in the Scudetto season, but he never gave the impression of fully convincing from various points of view such as the command of his area and his distribution.
The management decided to move early and close for the arrival of Marco Sportiello already last winter. Tatarusanu went to Saudi Arabia while the Italian signed a four-year deal to become Maignan’s new deputy.
He got his first taste of competitive action last night as Maignan went down holding his thigh. Sportiello was called into action in added time when Longstaff’s shot was touched over the crossbar, showing he can withstand the pressure.
Sportiello actually knows the tournament from his time with Atalanta. Gollini got injured and he stepped up, playing at that game against Valencia when Josip Ilicic’s four goals at the Mestalla stunned the Spaniards.
He seems ready to respond whenever necessary, and given that Maignan will be handled carefully he should start the game against Hellas Verona on Saturday.