GdS: Five missions for Pioli to try and complete before the season resumes

By Oliver Fisher -

The winter break is crucial for AC Milan as Stefano Pioli looks to recharge his squad and resume the mission to catch the pace setters Napoli.

La Gazzetta dello Sport speak of five missions that Milan have while in Dubai, starting with the recovery of key injured players like Maignan, Calabria, Florenzi, Saelemaekers and Ibrahimovic, who are working to get back on the pitch in 2023. The friendlies against Arsenal and Liverpool will be key, while the returns of Ibra and Florenzi are expected later after the others.

Then there is the aim of getting Charles De Ketelaere into form. He only played a quarter of an hour at the World Cup with Belgium after a difficult start to life at Milan, so Pioli will have to work on him psychologically as well as tactically.

Just as Leao, Tonali or Kalulu have been on an upward journey over the past two years to become what they are today, some other players could do with taking that leap in mentality. Olivier Giroud and Theo Hernandez have found a way to level up at the World Cup and they provide a shining example for the others.

Milan must regain their defensive resilience too. Milan have a precise identity that they have worked on for years but ultimately it was the rearguard that helped win the Scudetto, with Kalulu and Tomori ready to resume their roles as the starting centre-backs. Then there is Kjaer, and Milan have barely conceded with him on the pitch, plus the return of Calabria.

Finally, the summer signings must find a groove. Adli returned to shining in friendlies with a goal against Lumezzane, scoring a great goal, while the retreat will also help the likes of Thiaw and Vranckx gain rhythm.

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