Ismael Bennacer impressed in a more advanced midfield role against Sassuolo on Saturday but Stefano Pioli also used the midfield to send a message, a report suggests.
As written in this morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below), there were plenty of narratives to come from the 1-0 victory over the Neroverdi that kept the noise about Pioli’s future to a minimum.
It certainly was not a vintage performance from Milan but the huddle on the pitch at the end showed that it was one of togetherness. The points were needed, as was the clean sheet and the chance to go into 2024 off the back of a win.
Pioli chose to hand the young Kevin Zeroli his debut off of the bench, taking the place of Ruben Loftus-Cheek. It is suggested that he was showing the hierarchy that a new midfielder for depth is needed in January, especially with Rade Krunic expected to leave.
The good news in the midfield was that Bennacer looked to be a genuine threat when getting forward and could play a much more offensive role than he did in the past before his injury.
What is clear is that Rafael Leao will have to improve drastically in 2024 if he is to continue being viewed as one of the pillars of this team.