AC Milan must submit their official squad list to UEFA for the group stages of the Champions League tonight, and there will be some tough choices to make.
After seven long years of absence, the Rossoneri will return to facing Europe’s elite as they were drawn in a group alongside Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and Porto. As La Gazzetta dello Sport writes, there are 28 players who are currently part of the first team squad, but due to UEFA rules Stefano Pioli must leave out three.
Samu Castillejo, Andrea Conti and Pietro Pellegri are expected to be the ones who will not feature as part of the squad. Franck Kessie counts as one of right “home grown” players required by the rules, meaning Milan will not lose one of their 25 List A slots (as they would have with less than eight home grown players).
This puts Pierre Kalulu on the safe side, who otherwise would have been at risk of being cut, while Daniel Maldini and Alessandro Plizzari – who theoretically would have the requisites to be included in List B – will not “save” two places in List A because they cannot be replaced with other players who came through Milan’s academy.
In other words, Castillejo, Conti and Pellegri are at risk of being cut due to the regulations and the numbers involved. Below is the squad the paper expects to be named…
Goalkeepers: Maignan, Tatarusanu, Plizzari.
Defenders: Calabria, Ballo-Touré, Romagnoli, Hernandez, Kalulu, Tomori, Kjaer, Florenzi, Gabbia.
Midfielders: Bennacer, Tonali, Diaz, Krunic, Bakayoko, Saelemaekers, Kessie, Messias.
Forwards: Giroud, Ibrahimovic, Rebic, Leao, Maldini.