AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli must once again try and get the best out of his squad but in a balanced way, given what has been a very frantic summer window.
La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) described Pioli as a ‘great tightrope walker’ because he has a knack for knowing how to balance his teams, as seen in the Scudetto-winning version of his team which was very left-sided.
Now he has an even more ambitious Milan at his disposal, one that aims to be built around attacking and aggression, because he wants to exaggerate the importance of high recoveries and wants to attack on two wingers.
Hence the question mark that gravitates over the Rossoneri is as follows: will Pioli be able to field a balanced team?
In the project, the replacement of a tactical winger like Alexis Saelemaekers and/or Junior Messias with an aggressive winger like Samuel Chukwueze, is compensated by a more physical and protective midfielder which has gained a man compared to the 4-2-3-1.
Rade Krunic will be at the base of the three and that is a sign of absolute trust in the defence, which is the only one of the three departments that has not been affected by the transfer window.
Paolo Maldini, a year ago, considered it necessary to buy a top defender, like Sven Botman. This year the same urgency has not been present, despite the defensive cracks from last season.
Simon Kjaer (34 years old) is in physiological decline, Malick Thiaw remains in a period of growth, Matteo Gabbia has left, while Pierre Kalulu and Fikayo Tomori are struggling to find the consistency of the Scudetto win.
The pressing often exposes the defensive line to one-on-ones that hurt them in the pre-season. Pioli will have to mediate between attacking instinct and balance.