There are four factors that Stefano Pioli hopes to be able to use to his advantage to get his AC Milan squad performing at their very best.
La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) this morning talk about the four weapons at Pioli’s disposal, the first of which is the three new signings – Tijjani Reijnders, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic – who have already pretty much fully integrated.
The first two have the characteristics to reinvent the midfield as the Englishman has physicality and size while the Dutchman has the creativity, the ability to play vertically and invent.
Pulisic meanwhile has two goals in his first two starts for Milan playing on the right side, and he has allowed Milan to spread their threat across both flanks rather than being too Leao-dependant.
The second weapon is ‘the bomber’: Olivier Giroud. Although he will turn 37 next month, the Serie A scoring chart has the Frenchman’s name at the top after he scored three times in the first two games.
In the new system and with better service from the right side, Giroud should enjoy a higher quality of chances and more space to operate in. The signing of another striker – such as Mehdi Taremi – would allow him to manage his work load too.
The third point is Rafael Leao, who has the potential – if he is not there already – to become a true goal machine. He got an assist in the game against Torino with that pass to Theo and he won the second penalty.
The target for Leao is to hit 20 goals this season after 16 in the last, also remaining consistent throughout the campaign and having no goal droughts.
The fourth and final useful thing for Pioli will be ‘the awaited’, such as Samuel Chukwueze. He has played 40 minutes across two substitute appearances so far and is a bit behind in the adaptation process.
However, the investment of €28m including bonuses and the potential for Milan to have a Leao-Chukwueze two-pronged attack with pace, power and goals is something Pioli surely cannot wait to use.