GdS: Tonali is Milan’s all-rounder – the numbers demonstrate his importance

By Oliver Fisher -

Sandro Tonali has firmly established himself as one of the leaders of this AC Milan team, a sort of captain without wearing the armband.

As La Gazzetta dello Sport reports, Tonali has put himself in front of the cameras in the most delicate situations such as on the eve of the second leg of the Euroderby as an example, and numerous times during the Scudetto-winning campaign.

When an important press conference or interview awaits for the club it is advisable to send someone with particularly clear ideas and intelligent concepts, and that is where Tonali excels.

He is direct and constructive at the same time, speaking from the perspective of a player with great responsibility, but also a Milan fan who can convey emotion too.

Scrolling through the Rossoneri squad, he is the excellence (along with Maignan). Leao is the aspiring champion, Giroud solves problems, Theo Hernandez creates masterpieces coast to coast, but Sandro has a quality that the others don’t possess: consistency of performance at high levels.

While his team-mates sometimes show their quality and then go flat, Tonali has been pretty much a constant throughout a difficult 2023. He protects the defence and supports the attacking phase, depending on what the coach asks of him and depending on the games.

Even against Sampdoria, with Krunic watching his back, Tonali participated effectively in the attacking actions. The opponent was not the best given Sampdoria’s state of mind, but Milan needed a big win for goal difference and the Italian squared to Brahim expertly to make it 4-1.

It was an assist – his seventh this season – which among other things allows him to equal his personal record in Serie A (with Brescia 2019-20), rising to nine across all competitions.

He is number one for playing time in the squad with 3,804 total minutes spread over 46 appearances (out of the 50 games played so far by the Rossoneri), with 33 games played from the first to the last minute.

Tags AC Milan Sandro Tonali


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    1. thats just peope who dont know a lot about the game we call football.
      Every ex player who is now a game commentator praises him.

    2. He has only really been impressive over the last month or so. Before that, he was a liability like every other players this season.

      1. That’s a bad memory you have there – he was very good first half of the season, before the WC break. Then started to struggle in mid-January and early February, when everyone did and we had the formation change. Worked his way out of it and since March he’s been very good again.

  1. Please stop. Can’t let a day go by without praising the mediocre Tonali. All you can point out is the number of minutes played, which is why Milan has dropped off this season. Our midfield has been our weak spot this season, getting bossed against even bottom table teams, yet somehow he gets praised.
    They even have him MOTM against Inter when he was directly responsible for the second goal, letting an old Mhikataryan run by him. He would make a good 3rd choice midfielder but the fact that he has started almost every game is the exact reason Milan has struggled this season.

    1. You’re a clown on any platform. Yes, he didn’t mark Mhikataryan well, lost him on that run and Lautaro made a great play letting that ball through and forcing Tonali to adjust his line, but after that he was our best player for the rest of the match, with no one else even close. Nearly scored, set up Messias with a beautiful ball that Messias shanked. Bennacer and Tonali have been Milan’s two most consistent players all season, midfield has not been our downfall. Defensive regression and absolutely no attack outside of Leao have been the problems, it’s obvious when you watch the matches and the numbers back it up. And Pioli has also been a big part of the problem with lineups and subs. You Tonali-haters have an agenda, and that’s fine, but don’t expect anyone to take you seriously with garbage takes like that.

      1. You don’t know what you are seeing when you watch a game. The defensive regression with the exact same defenders as last season is mostly due to Kessie not being in front of them and teams passing through our midfield with ease. Even Milan themselves have acknowledged this fact and have made signing a starting quality midfielder their main priority. Just like Tonali did not track back against Inter, I could show you at least a half dozen other times this season where he has done the same and cost the team goals.
        He was ok when we had Kessie and Bennacer, and Tonali could fill in when someone needed a rest or was injured, but if he is starting every game we are going to have problems. He is a good player but not great in any area. Not a great passer, not a great dribbler, not creative, not that great defensively. And his corners and set pieces are not good either. He plays hard, that’s the best thing you can say about him.

  2. He should be our captain. I understand why calabria is the captain given that he is from the youth team but i think he should be our main captain.

    Pioli should involve him more in the attacking phase.

  3. The captain should be the leader of the team, someone that people will respect listen and follow.
    Neither Calabria nor Tonali should be captains just because one of them is Milan youth product and the other is a Milan fan.
    If people have noticed before the games starts, players get together in a circle with their arms around each other and it’s usually Kjaer or Giroud that give the team the pre game speach, not the captain Calabria nor the Milan fan Tonali.
    If he is a real captain Calabria should be giving that speach not Kjaer or Giroud.
    Captain arm band it’s just an extra clothing that Calabria wears without any other meaning.

    1. Not every leader needs and armband to prove it. Just look at how Zlatan & Kjaer (and why not Giroud too) act on and off the pitch. They’re the true leaders in the team.

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