CorSera: Pioli needs help from his leaders including an unusually quiet Leao

By Oliver Fisher -

Rafael Leao is one of the undisputed leaders of AC Milan’s attacking department, but in the past few months his output in the league has left a bit to be desired.

This morning’s edition of Corriere della Sera (via PianetaMilan) writes that the best version of Leao will be needed against Sassuolo this evening if Milan are to end 2023 in the right way, also because of the clouds surrounding the team after a difficult period.

Leao will take up the position on the left side of Milan’s attack while on the right side of Sassuolo’s trident will be Domenico Berardi, author of 11 goals and 7 assists against Milan and 12 goal contributions in the league this season, i.e. consistent output.

Stefano Pioli continues to draw a lot of criticism for his role in the results and the injury crises that have taken place this calendar year, but it is also true that he needs help from the leaders in the squad with a top four spot now in danger.

For today’s game, Pioli will rely on his three best attacking elements: Christian Pulisic, Olivier Giroud and Leao. The latter two, in particular, are in prolonged abstinence from scoring at home.

They have not scored at the San Siro in Serie A for four (26 August against Torino) and three months (23 September against Verona) respectively. An immediate reversal of the trend is needed, especially from Leao who is a metronome for creativity and such a potent generator of danger when at his best.


Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao


  1. There has been no player accountability and/or tactical discipline consistently under Pioli, especially in the last year and a half. “Needing his senators” is desperate.

    There are no Leaders in this locker room, in a young team with many foreigners. Teams like this take time to start clicking, given the right management and coaching. None of the things we’ve consistently seen so far.

    1. This is how I’ve come to understand it aswell.

      I think another important point is the fact that there hasn’t been healthy/any competition for the starting spot on several positions but most noticeably the positions of theo and leao and this has been the case across several seasons.
      Unless you have natural leaders already in place this kind of environment makes it more difficult for leadership to develop. Where could the motivation to step up as a leader come from if you know you’re starting spot isn’t challenged because of lack of depth and injuries?

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