The goalless draw against Newcastle brings several indications for Milan and there are certainly some positive ones, but the spotlight is on Rafael Leao for the wrong reasons.
Calciomercato.com write how the clean sheet, Yunus Musah’s positive performance and the number of opportunities created were all plus points, but the failure to win makes qualifying more difficult, the lack of precision in front of goal returned and Leão’s attitude was questionable.
The match against Newcastle could and should have turned in the first half when Leão beat two opponents in the penalty area, creating space to shoot, but he took one touch more than he should have before trying a back heel instead of hitting it on his right foot.
Leao’s numbers continue to get better season by season, but the feeling is that he could be extraordinary if only he maintained that malice in front of goal, which are fundamental to truly become a top player on a world level.
A missed chance is part and parcel of being a forward that is constantly involved in the game, that much is true, but what isn’t acceptable is the attitude shown in the second half.
He showed little desire to put in the defensive work rate required, and showed disapproval towards any team-mate guilty of having misplaced a pass.
Leão knows that now he must become a leader of this team and any maturation process also involves phases like this. If Milan are to go further in the Champions League, they need more.