MN: Handling of Vranckx and Adli remains a mystery after Thiaw’s emergence

By Oliver Fisher -

Malick Thiaw’s emergence in the last three games has generated plenty of understandably positive headlines, but also some question marks regarding a couple of the other summer signings.

MilanNews writes how Aster Vranckx and Yacine Adli are still struggling for the chance to showcase their ability despite Thiaw proving that the summer signings can contribute. The two are not competing for the same role and both play in departments that have struggled, yet continue not to be called upon.

The Belgian is a central midfielder by trade who has a good technical ability, and is the identikit of the player most similar to Franck Kessiè who departed last summer, yet he has 7 appearances and a total use of 70 minutes.

On the other hand, Adli has shown his vision and creativity both in the summer friendlies and in those after the World Cup, waiting for Serie A to return. In Bordeaux he was one of the leading men in a struggling side despite being 21 then, yet with the Rossoneri he has 4 appearances for a total of 114 minutes and his last appearance dates back to the game against Hellas Verona last October.

Of course something to keep in mind is that Stefano Pioli sees the players in training on a daily basis and talks to them, so there will be technical and tactical reasons for not giving them much time, but the same was true with Thiaw before he got his break and begun to thrive.

The injury to Ismael Bennacer makes it even stranger that Vranckx has struggled to find playing time in the last month, to the extent that even Tiemoue Bakayoko was preferred against Monza having not played for 279 days.

Tags AC Milan Aster Vranckx Yacine Adli


  1. I’ve not looked into it but could it be part of the loan deal that Bakayoko had to play a minimum amount of time or make a minimum number of appearances in matches?

    1. I really dont think so because his contract stipulates that if he plays 15×45 minutes equaling 7,5 matches combined in the second season of the loan then we will have to buy the player for around 20 mil so its not lke there is much room for bakayoko to play anyways if we want to avoid getting forced to buy the player. The player could also have been injured the entire season so the idea of us playing him a minimum ammount of times wouldn’t make much sense and neither players or other clubs dictates who we field.

  2. For the time being Vranckx looks a bit too huff and puff to provide adequate cover. He is all over the place, and not always in a good way.

    The exclusion of Adli, on the other hand, is precisely that – “a mystery”.

  3. Maybe, just maybe, Adli and Vranckx suck? M&M bring the players in. Pioli only has limited say (as do most coaches). So perhaps these two have turned out to be lemons? Not every player is is going to succeed here. At least we haven’t paid big money for Vranckx…

  4. Vranckx simply isn’t good enough and is only on loan so why bother to play him if the intention is to let him go back to Germany in the summer… not such a mystery now 😉

  5. The difference is that everytime Thiaw got the slightest chance to perform, we could see the good side of him. Didn’t make any elementary mistake etc. And when he finally got the chance to perform in ‘big stage’, he utilized the chance impeccably.

    Something we didn’t see in Adli. Vranckx, well, he started out decent. He got more and more playing time until the vital mistake vs. Roma, and we barely see him anymore.

  6. I really don’t get those arguments.

    Pioli said those guys will play when they are ready. He played Thiaw on this schedule and it worked. He looked great from his first steps on the pitch.

    On the other side of the spectrum we have CDK, who was rushed into the 11 (for various reasons) and it was a disasterclass.

    And now people are upset because they want more players to follow CDK’s path instead of Thiaw’s path? I really dont get it.

    1. Exactly. To be fair, CdK was also showed good signs in his first several matches. He even got to the starting line up vs. Inter. But as we all can see, somehow he’s faded and faded.

      If you’re Pioli and you’re given an expensive player, moreover it’s a kind of Scudetto gift and really took lots of effort to get the deal done by the management, it’d only pressure you to get the player more chances. A privilege that’s not entitled to other new comers such as Adli and Vranckx.

  7. Some people think it’s easy to integrate new players from different league who use different language, playing style, and habit into current formation and tactics. This isn’t video games you know.

    And there’s also the possibility of Vranckx and Adli are just…sucks. People forgot not every players that Maldini & Masara brought for Pioli is a good ones. From all the success such as Ibra, Kjaer, Leao, Tonali, Kalulu etc, we also seen the failures such as Piatek, Mandzukic, Meite, Balo Toure, Bakayoko, Pellegri, etc.

    People needs to be open mind and thinks about more possibilities rather stuck on blaming Pioli.

    1. Yeah, just maybe it would have been easier to integrate him if he’d had an extra 2-3 weeks with the
      Maybe worth a penny pinching 2m?
      And please, never remind me of meite again. He is a player who got many chances, and was consistently sh!t, none of which can apply to adli or vrankx.

  8. Well it’s very simple. When Thiaw came on he did well. Did what he was supposed to do and then some. And next time around also did well and kept getting picked. Vranckx and Adli not so much. Matter of fact our 14 point slide could be attributed to Vrankx’ mistake vs Roma. It’s probably why Baka got playing time last match too…. experienced shoulders. Why risk another lead to a youngster. Same with Adli who really hasn’t shown much and there are players ahead of him. (And I’ve said before he does carry worrying stats as a mid)

    And this is why it’s always tricky inserting new young players in a big club with huge pressure. You risk ruining their confidence. Sure u can do that at Atalanta or Sassuolo but at Milan the demands are bigger and the risks are even higher. That Vranckx choice by Pioli almost cost him his own job and title contention. Yet we’ll get the why x doesn’t play crowd but when x finally plays then here u have why x didn’t play before

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