GdS: The prospects of play for Okafor, Chukwueze and other signings yet to start

By Oliver Fisher -

At the moment Christian Pulisic, Tijjani Reijnders and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are the players who have established themselves in the starting XI, but what about the other summer signings.

As La Gazzetta dello Sport writes, there are also the other six signings that have arrived during the current window who are yet to make a start. What are the prospects for those who have collected few or no minutes so far?

Samuel Chukwueze: Right now he’s a reserve because he’s still behind Pulisic from a condition point of view, in addition to the fact the American is having an excellent start to the season.

The Nigerian has played 41 minutes so far in two substitute appearances and what is clear is that he is the one with the greatest prospect of continued use, given his quality and the investment made to sign him.

Yunus Musah: It is easy to identify him as Pioli’s potential first choice when Loftus-Cheek or Reijnders need to catch their breath a bit. He has one substitute appearance, amassing 23 minutes, having been banned for the first game.

Noah Okafor: Here we enter the realm of question marks. And certainly not because the player’s technical value is in doubt, but because for now there is still a slight mystery surrounding whether he is a winger or a centre-forward.

The Swiss international can play both roles, but on the left side there is Leao and down the middle there is Giroud plus the potential a deputy to the Frenchman will arrive. If Mehdi Taremi came, it would be likely he is diverted to the left, after two substitute appearances so far with 41 minutes.

Marco Pellegrino: He is the latest arrival and it is evidently a purchase more for the future. The Argentine is player who will grow with the right timing, without putting too much pressure on for now.

In defence he fills the gap left by Matteo Gabbia, but at the moment he is fifth in the hierarchies behind Fikayo Tomori, Malick Thiaw, Pierre Kalulu and Simon Kjaer.

Luka Romero: He is the attacking wild card, who can play both on the right and in the centre of the frontline. Pioli, on the eve of the Torino game, said interesting things: “He’s doing very well, I have to say he’s one of those who surprises me the most. He competes with level-mates, but he’s ready to play. He’s an intelligent person and talented.”

The fact he has made zero appearances so far in the Serie A season says more about the competition rather than his current level, because Pulisic and Chukwueze are ahead of him and there is no playmaker role in the 4-3-3.

Marco Sportiello: He arrived to act as deputy to Mike Maignan, after the departure of Ciprian Tatarusanu. Sportiello has quality and experience to be an absolutely up to par, and what is most likely is that he plays in the Coppa Italia.

Tags AC Milan Luka Romero Marco Pellegrino Noah Okafor Samuel Chukwueze Yunus Musah


  1. Has there be a change of rule sets in recent years because why would musah be banned in the first match when he never played a senior match in italy.

      1. I get that from the article above but it hasnt been like that always hence why im asking if there has been a recent change in the rule sets. That tomey guy from brentford who gambled on games his ban stretch over all leagues but that is also an absolutely different matter than getting a red card as its puts the game in miscredit.

          1. Yeah betting, match fixing and using doping is a completely different matter no question there but also why i can understand tomey getting banned cross competitions and leagues whereas a red card is a fairly mild offense,

  2. It will be a tough and long season, with multiple battle fronts. Chuk will certainly feature importantly on the side sooner or later, and I guess Musah and Okafor can be very useful also. Pellegrino is one for the future, sure, and Sportiello will play only (fingers crossed!) on Coppa Italia.

  3. As I’ve said before the season started lol, those guys weren’t getting starts until after the derby when the expectations are a bit less. Let’s hope they make the most of the minutes they get in the mean time

    1. Well atleast pioli insert them as sub except sportielo & pelegrino ( last choice from CB ) . Bur im surprise the new signing adapt faster than i expected

      1. Well Puli, Tijji and RLC all had alot of time during preseason but even so it’s quite incredible how fast they came together. I’ve never seen something like this before….not sure if it’s the quality of teams we’ve played so far. But it’s been great. The other guys came after (Musah, Chuk and co) so they’ll take a while.

  4. Pioli is not good at maximizing new signings or potential players. Some of those will become flops because of their minimum playing time.

    1. If the others are doing well enough on the pitch, then sure.

      But there’s no point in fussing about this on the first few weeks with a game each weekend. When European competition kicks in and games are midweek-weekend that’s when the depth and ability to rotate will be key. After the Inter game, I’m sure we’ll see more players being rested so they can cover others in future.

      Okafor is the confusing one to me. Leao, Pulisic, Romero and Chukwueze should be enough to cover two wong roles so surely he was brought in as a striker. Looking for yet another CF makes that one feel like a bit of a waste of an investment.

      1. I can’t complain because Pioli has ingrained a serious amount of tactics into these guys in a very short period of time, but those player need to be integrated. Preferably one by they get used to the game as its being played by the first 11. Otherwise they will always look awkward in these 20 min windows of tired starters and limited experience.

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