GdS: The muscular midfield – how Fonseca plans to solve Milan’s imbalances

By Ben Dixon -

A new striker is needed this summer, without a doubt, but perhaps you could argue that the key to unleashing AC Milan next season is a facilitator in midfield. 

The mercato is a tricky sea to navigate at the best of times, but having a shopping list like Milan’s makes the situation even trickier. Of course, it can make things easier if the plans are for specific profiles rather than players – for example, a technically gifted striker rather than Joshua Zirkzee or bust.

In this case for midfield, though, it seems the Rossoneri have a mix of both. An identikit has been identified as a physical midfielder with a defensive outlook rather than a focus on being capable in both boxes and whilst it would be appreciated, they need to be able to balance the midfield.

Then, the identikit needs a name, and Milan have spelt it out – Youssouf Fofana. The French midfielder is a physical beast whilst also being a phenomenal defensive midfielder, and his price has been cut due to contractual reasons.

If any other reasons were needed, he has already given the green light to the Diavolo, and the steps are in place.

As Gazzetta dello Sport (via Milan News) writes, the move is inspired by Paulo Fonseca’s demands to make his midfield more physical-based, but there would still be room for the star, Tijjani Reijnders, to inspire the team moving forward.

You could argue that the signing of Fofana’s profile is being done more so to push Reijnders into a more advanced role, to fully unleash his best talents, as we have seen him do for the Netherlands at Euro 2024.

If a move were to occur, Gazzetta suggests that Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be given a deeper role within the team for his physical prowess and ability to advance, but the diamond would be the Dutchman.

Tags AC Milan Paulo Fonseca Ruben Loftus-Cheek Tijjani Reijnders Youssouf Fofana


  1. In fact we don’t need Fofana I prefer benercer to Fofana and I’m still voicing it out all we need is an attacking midfielder and a central defender because tomori is not Good at all so I prefer Gabbia at left back then we sign a right centre back

    1. All defender we have is righ footed and you want another one? Great. And yeah Bennacer is more muscular than Fofana

  2. Loftus-Cheek doesn’t have enough stamina to play in a deeper role, he is an 8 not a 6. Musah might be the solution, but he was so bad last season that this is a big gamble at this point. Also while Reijnders lacks defensive capabilities I don’t see him succeding as an attacking midfielder, he didn’t show a lot in this aspect. He is also an 8 not a 6 nor a 10.
    Fofana does look like a good player with many qualities, but we have to remember that he is being paired with more defensive profiles, so why not go for them if that’s what we need. It might be good to still go for him anyways, but we will need players like Hojbjerg, Hjulmand, Wieffer or Amrabat.

  3. Perhaps you could argue? Really?

    It’s where we lost the games and where we got overrun week in week out. We were at the top regarding goals scored but we were also at the top for goals conceded.

    Now tell me, based on these stats what’s more important to address first?

  4. I’d like us to be in for Koopmieners (both if possible) -(a) for a proven DM/CM but (b) to shake up Juve (I hope Motta fails big time here, as I am sure most of us do really

  5. IMO, milan have more need for a regista to dictate the tempo and efficiently move the ball to the mezzallas rather than just a pure destroyer. A good technical midfielder like Ricci will allow milan to keep possession and control the game as well as quickly break down low lying defences

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