Stefano Pioli has not had the right answers from three forwards he thought he could rely on, and that must change in the final five games.
As La Gazzetta dello Sport writes, there are a lot of questions heading into the season finale for Milan such as who will be able to affect play most, who will surprise in the last five games, who will assist Ibra and more. Mandzukic, Leao and Rebic must all prepare answers, starting on Saturday.
Rebic is without a doubt the most consistent of the three with 7 goals and 8 assists in 29 games so far this season. He has struggled with several physical problems (including Covid) and suspensions too, but in the second round he has already scored 6 times.
Last season he did the same, scoring 11 times from January onwards, becoming one of the pillars of post-lockdown ‘Piolismo’. Now, Pioli needs the old Rebic who has scored once in his last four games, with the opener against Genoa.
Pioli also needs more from Leao who struggled a lot in recent starts as the striker against Genoa and Sassuolo. Leao amassed 2 goals and 4 assists in his first 5 outings in the league, but this season he has played 18 games as a striker, 13 on the left wing, one on the right side and a couple as the attacking midfielder.
Mandzukic is the most troubled of the three as he has five games to gain a new deal for next season, which still seems very difficult given that in eight games played – albeit only two as a starter – he is yet to score a goal. He arrived as a deputy to Ibra, and his warrior nature will make him try and try again, but so far it has not been a positive experience.