AC Milan’s next match will be a very important one in the tapestry of their 2023-24 season, but Stefano Pioli has to prepare for it without being able to call upon Fikayo Tomori.
As La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) writes this morning, Tomori got two yellow cards and thus a red card in the last win against Roma ruling him out of the first derby of the season, but there is time to decide who will take his place.
Pioli already knows that he can count on Malick Thiaw. The rise of the German centre-back last season is well known and, at the start of the present one, the former Schalke man is reaping the benefits of what he showed.
Thiaw will certainly be the starter at the centre of defence and already in these first three games he has been the most impressive centre-back, even more than Tomori. The confirmation is being called up to the senior German national team.
His task will be the most difficult: to contain Lautaro Martinez, the deadliest player in Serie A so far with five goals in three games in the current campaign.
Thiaw doesn’t seem like someone who gets scared and after facing Harry Kane on his Champions League debut and other great champions, he will also accept this battle too.
The feeling is that Tomori’s role will be filled by Pierre Kalulu. The Frenchman wants to find consistency again after having experienced a bit of a rollercoaster in terms of performances last season.
Against Roma he came on in place of Ruben Loftus-Cheek to make up for the Englishman’s absence, and his opponent for the spot will be Simon Kjaer, used with less continuity by Pioli due to his condition.
Kjaer is out of practice with regards to consistent playing time In this sense his call-up for Denmark can help. Kalulu, however, remains ahead because he no longer eligible for the France U21 team and therefore remained at Milanello to prepare.