AC Milan can breathe again after the victory against Roma, which secured three fundamental points in the race to qualify for the next edition of the Champions League.
The result of course came after the bitter elimination from the Coppa Italia at the hands of Atalanta, while in December the Rossoneri exited the 2023-24 edition of the Champions League at the group stage, dropping into the Europa League.
Speaking of Europe, in order to compete in the final stages of the UEL, Milan will have to overcome the next obstacle: beating Stade Rennais in the two-legged play-off round which will take place on February 15th (at San Siro) and 22nd (the return match in France).
Among the thoughts of Pioli, who is also involved as a consultant in the transfer market, there is obviously the UEFA squad list that the club will have to present by February 2nd and which will establish the players eligible to play in the next Europa League matches.
Our colleagues at SempreMilan.it have analysed the situation, so let’s take a look.
In the previous list drawn up by Pioli there were several players who are currently injured, even if on their way back, such as Fikayo Tomori, Pierre Kalulu, Mattia Caldara and Malick Thiaw.
Caldara, who is a home-grown player, will be ousted to make way for new signing Filippo Terracciano. It remains to be seen who the other player will be that misses out (perhaps Simon Kjaer) in the event a new centre-back is acquired in January.
Looking at the midfield, a change is a must because Rade Krunic was sold to Fenerbahce. He will most likely be replaced by Ismael Bennacer, who was not a part of the previous list due to a long-term injury.
In attack everything should remain unchanged with Luka Jovic and Olivier Giroud ready to compete for the starting centre-forward spot while Noah Okafor, Christian Pulisic, Rafael Leao and Samuel Chukwueze will be the wingers.
They could be joined by Chaka Traorè who – as per regulation – can be included freely as an Under 21 player given he has played at least two consecutive years within the club.
There is also no problem in naming Matteo Gabbia who – having come through the ranks of the Rossoneri’s youth academy – will be able to be included without sacrifices or exclusions.
The new 25
Below is the list of 25 players who could make up Milan’s new UEFA squad. The only question mark remains the possible new defender that the management may acquire in the winter session.
As mentioned, he is a profile that could take Kjaer’s place within the list or even be added as an extra, if raised in the Italian youth system as in the case of Torino’s Alessandro Buongiorno.
Goalkeepers: Mike Maignan, Antonio Mirante (home-grown), Marco Sportiello (home-grown).
Defenders: Davide Calabria (Milan academy), Filippo Terracciano (home-grown), Alessandro Florenzi (home-grown), Theo Hernández, Pierre Kalulu, Simon Kjær (?), Malick Thiaw, Fikayo Tomori, Matteo Gabbia (Milan academy).
Midfielders: Yacine Adli, Ismael Bennacer, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Yunus Musah, Tommaso Pobega (Milan academy), Tijjani Reijnders.
Forwards: Samuel Chukwueze, Olivier Giroud, Luka Jović, Rafael Leão, Noah Okafor, Christian Pulisic, Chaka Traore (Milan academy).