GdS: Same system, new faces – how Milan’s XI could look under Fonseca

By Oliver Fisher -

Paulo Fonseca will soon be announced as the new head coach of AC Milan, and La Gazzetta dello Sport have had a go at naming the team for 2024-25.

The paper are reporting today that Milan have will announce Fonseca as their new coach in the coming days now that he has officially left Lille. The plan is for it to be made official on either Wednesday or Thursday, when the Portuguese should land in Italy.

They also tried their hand at predicting how the Milan starting line-up will look under the former Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk boss, starting with four existing players in the rearguard: Mike Maignan, Pierre Kalulu, Fikayo Tomori at Theo Hernandez.

The first alteration comes at right-back, where Fonseca is expected to ask for a player who guarantees more in terms of attacking output. Spurs’ Emerson Royal or Lille’s Tiago Santos are the options there, with the former having a slight advantage.

In midfield La Gazzetta believe that Tijjani Reijnders will operate as a deeper-lying playmaker in the double pivot and will be joined by Youssouf Fofana. The Monaco midfielder continues to be linked, and could offer more defensive balance.

The attacking trident remains unchanged with Christian Pulisic on the right, Rafael Leao on the left and Ruben Loftus-Cheek as the attacking midfielder, though Samu Chukwueze could get more opportunities.

Up front it is pretty much certain that a new name will lead the line and the newspaper have Joshua Zirkzee as the centre-forward with Chelsea’s Armando Broja as a potential back-up, given the doubts over Luka Jovic’s stay.

Tags AC Milan


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      1. No he was not. We basically had a giant gap in the midfield every time he played there. A few tap in goals doesn’t mean he was good as an AM

      2. Efficient is an interesting choice of word – he was comfortably our most inconsistent player last year.

        He’s a great outside centre mid, but a very makeshift number 10.

        Personally I cant believe our name is nowhere near Chiesa with a view to moving Puli inside.

        1. Most people are not aware that Chiesa is a natural LW. He is right-footed and his game has always been like that of most inside forwards, that is, cutting in for the shot with the dominant foot. He’s been wrongly played on the right for many seasons by Juventus. He belongs on, and prefers, the left. Who do we have on the left? Rafael Leao. This is why you haven’t seen Chiesa’s name mentioned. Nevermind that our squad already has four wingers in Leao, Okafor, Pulisic and Chukwueze. If Leao were to be sold, then it would be a different story.

    1. I completely agree Dan!

      Or else we use the system this team was built for 433.

      Sign a DM, use Adli as backup (or Bennacer if needed), Use Bennacer and Reijnders as Mezzalas (their true position) and use Musah and RLC as back up Mezzalas (their true position)

      We can always alter formation mid game, so if we are chasing the game, move Pulisic to AM and play 4231.

      We cannot have another season of RLC as AM

      1. I would prefer 4-3-3 because we don’t have an attacking midfielder… Tijjani-Fofana-Bennacer would be ideal if Fofana is coming to Milan

      2. 4231 is what we play , and it is okey, but I hope for some experimenting, 433 for sure but for example we can try 4312 or 3412 with players what we have ( or we want to buy )

  1. Give me Thiago Santos over Emerson Royal, Royal is not good.
    If Douglas Luiz is an option for 30 mil or less I’d rather have Douglas Luiz than Fofana.
    Give me Zirkzee backed up by Locca.
    And yes Milan will need another striker besides Zirkzee, I don’t get how most spent a whole year saying that Jovic can’t play as a solo striker but they want him to be the primary back up to Zirkzee. If Milan plans to play with 1 striker up top then there is no need to keep Jovic when you already have Okafor who is the same. Locca is a pure n9 who will provide a different look with his size.

  2. We have lost our Italian dynasty. We used have Maldini, Nesta, Pirlo, Inzaghi, Gatuso, Ambrosini etc. We need an Italian backbone. I would say we need to get Zaniolo, maybe Chiesa. Definitely Buongiorno/Calafiori/Scalvini & I would still like to see Orsolinni our squad.

    1. Buongiorno and Chiesa please.

      I think we’ll see a fair bit of Zeroli, Terracciano and Bartesaghi this season. I also think Liberali might start knocking on the door later in the season. Then in 25/26 we basically have to start playing Camarda as at the end of that season he’ll only have one year left on his deal.

    2. We should have gone for Orsolini last season instead of Chukwueze. This season it would only make sense if we decide to use Pulisic as a 10 and Orsolini to be our main right winger.
      I don’t think we need neither Chiesa nor Zaniolo. Scammaca could have been a good option of the attack, but it seems we’re more likely to get Zirkzee.
      Scalvini has a ligament tear so I won’t support that transfer. Buongiorno would have been good but too expensive and Calafiori is pretty much done deal with Juve I think.
      Perhaps we can go for Ricci as a deputy DM.

      1. Have you seen how Cairo negotiates? The money he will ask for Ricci isn’t something we’re going to pay for a backup. For backup (or even starter if we can’t get one of the more expensive options we’ve been linked with) I would look at Sassuolo’s Boloca or Udinese’s Walace. I know we’re talking about Italians, but…

    3. Totally agree. I am all for non italian players if they are worth something! Leao, Theo, Puli and Magnian…welcome but you cant tell me that there arent italian players who arent as good as or better than Ben, RLC, Chuk, Kalulu, Emerson Royal…hopefully we see these young players come through – bartesaghi, liberali, camarda, zeroli…

  3. Loftus-Cheek & Reijnders are Mezzalas. We should play 4-3-3 with Fofana as regista and the other two Mezzala. Loftus-Cheek looked totally world class in the 4-3-3 and, even though he scored goals, he looked awkward and uncomfortable as trequartista. He was not involved enough in our play and that needs to change

  4. 433 works better for us. I personally would play bennacer fofana rijnders as the 3 mids for stability and to keep clean sheets. Leao pulisic Zirkze are front 3. We can even play false 9.

  5. Milan will be playing 433 under Fonseca. No more of Pioli madness which means RLC will not be used as an attacking midfielder.

    I see Fonseca putting Pulisic there with Chukwueze on the RW. But I doubt we will play 4231. we have too many midfielders who are mezzala.

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