MN: Latest injury and attacking struggles show the three gaps in Milan’s squad

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan were forced to settle for a draw against Atalanta after battling from behind, and the game showed some of the shortcomings in the squad.

Pietro Mazzara’s column for MilanNews writes that ‘the situation is evident and clear’ regarding the attack as there is a ‘qualitative problem on the right wing’. Junior Messias and Alexis Saelemaekers are only good enough to be supporting players but could well end up rotating as starters for the 2022-23 campaign.

Mazzara writes that ‘even Pioli knows well that something more is needed there’ and it is no coincidence that Hakim Ziyech was the profile he wanted, but it seems that any signing of a right winger will have to work.

A midfielder is also needed with Rade Krunic out for at least a month, while Sandro Tonali and Ismael Bennacer cannot be relied upon to start every single game of a crowded schedule. Tommaso Pobega must get back to 100% and Tiemoue Bakayoko frankly isn’t in the plans, so a new midfielder is needed.

A central defender is also a requirement, because Simon Kjaer is not yet in top condition and Pioli made it clear last night that a fifth central defender is needed. With less than a fortnight left in the market, an effort is required.

Tags AC Milan


  1. De KETELAERA and Saelaemakers have to start the next game.
    Another alternative is a 4-3-3… With Adli, Tonali and Bennacer in a midfield 3.. with Leao, Giroud and CDK as the front 3… The backline is ok. Tomori and Kalulu may need some rest so Kjaer should replace one of them in the next game.
    Pioli is too rigid with the 4-2-3-1.
    Sometimes you need to spice things up and a midfield of Adli, Tonali and Bennacer with Pobega off the bench would be so slick. Leao and CDK can play off Giroud up front.

    1. I agree with your 3 man midfield of Tonali-Benna-Adli as we can see clearly that with Diaz as trequartista the midfield is soft.. however if Pioli insists with Diaz he should play on the right an alternate with Sale & messias so Adli can alternate with CDK in the no.10 role.

    2. NO. At the early stages, we need to stick to our comfort formation to get as many wins as possible where we have players available and injury free to play. At the beginning of the season, the only way to use 433 is in a game where we are losing with 4231.

      Once we have enough points to make sure we are comfortably at the top 4 where losing 6 points wont make a difference, then we can make changes in formations and experiment.

  2. With this current squad, the 4-3-3 makes a lot of sense. There’s more space for talent in the starting 11 that way. Brahim can play as an inside LW for Leao, Saelaemakers and Messias should be able to slot in on the right of the front 3.
    Midfield is where we would need more depth since Pobega and Krunic are the only other options there.

  3. we should’ve got Boubacar Kamara and Ousmane Dembele Andreas Christensen and Paulo Dybala as free agents they would’ve fix every problem but the owner didn’t want to spend like every other great football clubs

  4. Yeah and only 9 days left until window is closed. Sad that they didn’t think of this earlier, every year same mistakes on transfer market.

  5. We only need Ziyech as much as I’m concerned. Once De Ketelaere starts matches and with Ziyech on the right and Leao on left, we will be unstoppable, not matter who is up front (Giroud, Rebic or Origi).

    Midfielder and defender for depth yes, but we need a STARTING right winger.

    1. Agreed. It’s pretty obvious to me that CDK will become the starter at the 10 position since he is physically bigger than Diaz and has similar ability, he just needs a bit more minutes.
      For me, we should try out Adli on the LW or as a LCM in the 4-3-3

    2. Ziyech would get us far. If only one player where to come, my vote goes to him. Adli will be a fine addition to the midfield once Pioli has the courage to field him. The defense isn’t an issue even if someone (other than Theo) got injured. RW is. And the LW might become an issue too if Leao keeps his current level. And that amplifies the issue with the RW as we cannot be dependent on Leao.

  6. A new CMF and CB are desireable because the season is long and crowded with matches, but if we’re talking about needs, focusing on the squad’s depth when we still have to put up with Messias or Salemaekers on our starting XI is pointless, it’s evident what the priority should be. Getting a new CMF or CB to give the squad more depth before we fix the RW problem would be like buying new shoes when we don’t have enough food.

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