CorSport: Pioli searching for Ibrahimovic’s partner – four options are on the table

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has a selection dilemma on his hands ahead of the derby against Inter in just under a week, a report claims.

As reported by il Corriere dello Sport on Sunday (via MilanLive), Pioli has yet to decide who to deploy as a left winger, in the role that is usually occupied by Ante Rebic.

The Croatian has a very particular tactical role in the 4-2-3-1 by starting wide on the left and then joining Ibrahimovic inside the penalty area, something which caused a lot of problems for opponents last season given it often creates an unexpected overloan.

However, Rebic is still recovering from his elbow dislocation and will undergo a checkup in the next 3-4 days. If the outcome of the tests is good then he could start straight away, but if not then Pioli must consider alternatives.

He is tempted by the idea of playing Rafael Leao in that position, a player who benefits from the presence of Ibrahimovic, however whether he would contribute as much defensively as would be needed is a cause for concern.

Brahim Diaz is another option. The Spanish playmaker knows how to play both as an attacking midfielder and as a winger, so Pioli will take him into consideration.

Finally, Alexis Saelemaekers could fill a potential hole left by Rebic. The Belgian’s work rate would assure the right balance, however it must be noted his preferred side is on the right.

 

Tags AC Milan Alexis Saelemaekers Ante Rebic Brahim Diaz Rafael Leao

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