Doubts regarding Musah’s role poses important question to Milan management

By Isak Möller -

Yunus Musah is expected to arrive in Italy next week to complete his move to AC Milan. He’s a good reinforcement for the midfield but the Rossoneri fans have expressed their doubts regarding his role. 

Having brought in Tijjani Reijnders and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Milan have significantly improved the situation in the midfield but a defensive player is still missing. Musah has sparked a debate in that sense, as many Rossoneri fans believe he’s not suitable for the No.6 role.

Furthermore, there have been conflicting reports regarding Milan’s stance on the matter. Initially, it was suggested that he would be an alternative for the mezz’ala role, alternating with the aforementioned signings, but recent reports suggest he is indeed a signing for the No.6 role.

At Valencia, Musah played as a central midfielder and even a right-winger this past season, but he only played one game in a defensive role. In other words, it will be very interesting to see if Milan intend to use him in the No.6 role.

There might be an additional midfielder on the way to the club, but for now the management has been posed with an important question: Is a midfield of Loftus-Cheek, Musah and Reijnders balanced enough?

Tags AC Milan Yunus Musah


  1. Compare midfield of last year, than of this one.

    Last year we had Bennacer, Tonali, Krunic and Pobega, that effectly played in midfield.

    This year, we have Reijnders, Ruben Loftus, Musah, Pobega, and after recovering Bennacer, all players that are expected to play more minutes in midfield.
    Very soon, after first 4 rounds in Serie A, we will see how efficient is this midfield compared to last year.

    1. What everyone forgets is we have greater attacking options and outlets for the Midfielders when they have the ball, what players like Rjndiers, RLC and Pulisic have in common is the quick turnover and when you have Leao Okofor and Chukwueze in front of you, a quick turnover is vital and that what this midfield rebuild is about.

      We are now more equipped to play a more possession based game, the fact we couldn’t last season cost us the CL semi final defeat, we have more powerful physical players who will not be over run like Tonali and Krunic and even Benny at times and certainly Diaz.

      I still feal having Kalulu as a starting right back would seriously help us, like Micah Richards did for City, Nevel did for United, Dixon for Arsenal, our own Tassoti was great defensively, So Kalulu could be keep as he could move in and Chukwueze is a hard working player naturally and cover the right side at times.

      We truly have some really gifted footballers,

      Only Vini Jr is the level of Leao on the left,
      Theo is in the top 3 left backs in the world
      Mike is in the top 3 keepers in the world
      Thaiw looks like be Germany’s starting centre back for years to come.

      We have the makings of a really great team, hopefully Pioli can keep the group as a tight cohesive unit.

      1. What everyone also forgets is the amount of goals we conceded last season compared to the Scudetto winning season.

        Once Kessie left the squad we didn’t have the same defensive output without him on the field. Now we won’t have Tonali nor Bennacer (til Nov/Dec) therefore I am afraid that even though we’ll have greater attacking options we’ll also have the defence even more exposed than last season.

        Now I must admit that I don’t know much about Musah for example, but I have doubts about the defensive midfield duo of an unknown (to me) youngster & Krunic. I don’t won’t to downplay Krunic, I kinda like the guy due to his versatility, but I don’t see playing him as a starter a viable option.

        What do you think about this?

  2. I have the same fears but the club obviously has an idea here and that looks like 4 3 3 with balanced and shared responsibilities. When teams like Man City, Liverpool and Madrid play this system but each has a dedicated defensive player, it does make me concerned but let’s see – it’s going to be hard enough to gel them anyway

    1. Both Liverpool and city have Fabinho and Rodri as defensive midfielders helping center backs to reduce counter attacks and also spread the ball from defense to wings
      But we dont have this kind of player now in the team, last season it’s Tonali or bennacer who has done this. This year atleast for 6months no one.
      In 6months, we will finish most part of season.

      Especially in champions league, we will have strong teams in group stage because of our 4th position in serie A

      1. Piolis will say Krunic is the Fabinho!
        I’d play Reijnders as the regista tho. His passing skills and composure on the ball is what you need as a deep lying playmaker… I don’t know about his positioning put I’d rather deal with a bad positioning than watching Krunic twice every week! I’m not too concerned about having a defensive minded midfielder in front of the defense. Bennacer is not that defensive he just presses and he does a good job in front of the defense for me. Dream would be Verratti. PSG are willing to let him leave

  3. He does not seem like a 6 in terms of his play. But his characteristics tells me he can be a 6. Lets not forget that when Pioli was appointed as Milan coach he turned Frank kessie into a DM due to his stamina and xtics. Kessie was a box to box midfielder. I remember he use to play beside Bakayoko. So Musah could play there since he is only 20.

  4. I still have hope that by September 1st Ryan Gravenberch will be a Milan player. On loan or permanent transfer, it doesn’t matter.
    You can recuperate the money invested in Gravenberch by selling Bennacer when he comes back from injury.
    Significant upgrade

  5. Gatusso used him in the double pivot that was his best when moved upfront by new manager he struggled the whole season..usa national team uses him in the double too that is his best position

    1. Agree. He is best as a double pivot accompanied by a more technical-play-making player like Bennacer. But Adli could be too. And we use 4231 too. so no worry.

  6. So far in preseason we have not played 4-3-3 which suggests that Musah/Bennacer will play holding midfielder together with Reijnders, while RLC/CdK and perhaps Pulisic will alternate for the AMC. To me this is a very offensively balanced midfield, and against Juve that showed. We were overrun many times, especially in the first half where Pulisic did not prove to be as defensively disciplined as Saelemaekers and Messias….

  7. Maldini’s Hair: “He’s such a horrible player, I don’t know what this management is doing”

    Ted: “I’m gonna be a good parrot and parrot all the hate for this player. he’s such horrible player he doesn’t know anything”

    blah blah blah blah blah blah

    1. Oh man you are so insecure I almost feel sorry for you.

      Weren’t you the one against buying Musah a month ago? I can paste your comment again to remind you if you’d like.

      And do I turn you on or why do you mention me and comment under every post of mine?

  8. I think there will be another midfielder coming in (a DM). Pioli wants to go 4-3-3 and he will need 6 midfielders (selling Krunic)


  9. Musah will definitely will be the 6 and will try be the sort of new Kessie figure who can solidify the defense but Musah being more technical and more progressive

  10. Musah certainly have the strength, stamina, pace and technique to play as a defensive midfielder in a 4-3-3. Question is, does he have the positioning and playing intelligence when it comes to the defensive part of the game? Guess we shall see.

    Personally I wouldnt mind seeing us sign Dominguez now already if there is a chance that we sell Bennacer in January. We gonna need a new defensive midfielder then, and since Bennacer is injured until january, bring in Dominguez now already and let him get a preseason with the team. Especially if it turns out Musah cant do the no6 role. That is a bigger concern then signing another striker.

  11. Dominguez seems on his way to Fenerbache.

    Sell someone and sign Sangarè. He would be the perfect fit for this role.

    1. @Anaximander

      Sangare looks like a top class DM, can also bang in the odd goal from long range. I assume (hope) he’s on the radar of our scouts, I think we could poach him next summer for 30mn.

      However with all the midfield signings this year I doubt we’ll spend big on another one. Prob next summer Krunic (10mn to 🇹🇷) and Bennacer (50mn to 🇸🇦?) Will allow us some cash for a top class no.6

      This year I think they will try Musah as holding mf, if he doesn’t do well there they’ll look for an alternative but who knows, he might turn out to be a natural he’s only 20 not like he won’t improve.

      1. I think you’re right. Sangarè would only be possible with some sales, e.g. Krunic, Adli, Origi, Ballo-Tourè. I am doubtful that happens.

        For this season I am a bit worried that Pioli sticks to Krunic. If so, I do not think we have enough defensive muscle.

  12. Musah’s defensive stats are same as Kessie’s. Musah has more dribbles per game but less passes than Kessie. He also carries the ball much more. I’ve taken this out of analysis that was done comparing Musah and Kessie. In my opinion he’s not suited to be our no.6 in three man midfield but let’s see what mister will cook.

    1. You may be looking at the stats of someone playing as a winger. which would explain why there are no progressive passes or defensive actions. I would recommend either watching film or finding description of Musahs time under Gattuso or how he plays with the national team to get a better sense for the player he is.

      His stats from last year are going to look insane.

      Generally, the Fabinhos and Rodris end up with far less defensive actions than the players playing in front of them as they are using positioning to stop attacks. I envision Musah as one of those box to box in front of the 6 that is using his speed and and workrrate (like a kante or Partey) to press. In this way you do need the full midfield working together.
      I won’t go on a whole rant about the state of defensive statistics

      1. Agree. I highly recommend people watching games, and not youtube-compilations in order to get up to speed on a players characteristics.

  13. Musah is still very young. His role still needs to be shaped. I would be surprised if they do not see him a n6 potential, because this is what we need. It is not unthinkable to see him developing like a defensive mid, he did it with USA team.

  14. Just buy a right back… Timothy castagne…
    Center half…we can take Laporte on loan from man city he’ll reduce wage demands like pulisic did…
    Then as a no6 we should be targeting Amrabat or Fred from man united.. they’re top quality…krunic out time over

  15. For the US he is the playmaker and he is the press breaker in the double pivot with a destroyer. Defensively Pressures in the midfield. His club stats are weird because his last coach played him as a winger hence why his value dropped to this.

  16. “I think we’ll leak more goals next season”

    I think your opinion is not to be taken seriously.

    If you really think so after the team has been concretely reinforced, you’re deluded.

    1. What kind of argument is this? We have lost our best defensive midfielder and brought in more offensively oriented players. Why shouldn’t we concede more? In my OPINION our team unbalanced at the moment. The Juve-game just reinforced that impression.

      1. Cool opinion. Not unbalanced at all. And good for you judging on a preseason where we actually didn’t have many of our players available. Bravo.

    2. Its very clear you don’t understand football at all but enjoy mercato action.
      It takes time (years) to create a team.

      Last year we really noticed the loss of Kessie. Tonali did better with Krunic than Bennacer as we needed more muscle.
      Now tonali gone too and Bennacer injured.
      So yes we are very short in the DM position and we have an entire new midfield to integrate.

  17. Musah plays the 6 for the USMNT. He does a decent job. He may not have many starts at 6 for Valencia but that’s his position for the US.

  18. Well it is up to coach train him and use him for what position.All midfield in modern football now must have good defensive too

  19. In my opinion, Pulisic should be played in midfield, as a 10 or an 8 (depending on how Pioli wants to play). The only way the Musah signing makes sense to me is if we let Pobega or Krunic go. Let’s see what happens

  20. I see a lot of opinions and wishes in here about the midfield, Pulisic etc but let’s recap the facts:
    Pioli pretty much confirmed he’s switching to 4-3-3, even if it sometimes still looks a lot like the 4-2-3-1 as I myself have noticed
    Pioli said Leao and Chuk will play on the wings and Pulisic will be an option for both wings
    Reijnders confirmed he’ll play as left side mezzala and said Krunic will be our regista this season.
    Pioli said multiple times that Krunic is very intelligent and played him in a role similar to a regista already. In some games Tonali acted more like a box to box/mezzala while Krunic stayed deep. Those were some of his best games
    Musah has similar traits to Reijnders and RLC and whenever he played in the 4-3-3 he played as a mezzala. He did play as a DM but in a double pivot.
    So based on all these, I’m preparing myself to try to tolerate Krunic as a regista even if we made 8 signings and counting.
    Also, regarding Musah’s performances as a DM in a double pivot, my brother, who watches all Valencia games, said that when they switched to 4-2-3-1 and he played there he lost his starting spot due to his performances. He says he plays better as RW than DM.

    1. Very interesting those last two sentences, and that confirms my impression. And if you are right, that Pioli will indeed switch to a 4-3-3, then that is to his advantage. But as of no there have been no signs of him doing so. We have played 4-2-3-1 in preseason. No trace of 4-3-3 yet. And that is kind of worrisome as to the balance of this team.

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