Longo: Pioli has tested Reijnders in the No.6 role as Krunic needs rest

By Isak Möller -

Rade Krunic has played every single game from start to finish this season, registering a total of 450 minutes on the pitch. In desperate need of rest, Stefano Pioli has tested Tijjani Reijnders in the No.6 role. 

Due to Ismael Bennacer’s injury, Milan only have Yacine Adli as the alternative to Krunic in the deep-lying midfield role. The Frenchman barely got the chance last season and the story might be the same for this one.

According to Daniele Longo, Pioli has tested Reijnders in the No.6 role in training. The idea was floated with the Dutchman upon his arrival at the club and it’s no surprise that the manager is considering it, therefore.

Milan will face Hellas Verona on Saturday afternoon and it remains to be seen which player will start in the centre of the midfield. For days after that, the Rossoneri will face Cagliari and it’s clear that Krunic needs to skip one of those games.

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli Tijjani Reijnders


  1. Well I did say this didn’t I? 👇

    “Well it depends. Apart from Reinjders, Krunic has ran the most. He ran the most by some margin compared to all other Milan players in the Newcastle game. And he’s now overtaken everyone in terms of total distance covered so I’d say he’s been overused or used alot. Plus we really need to get the other guys involved esp Musah. He (Krunic) runs alot off the ball but that’s him positioning himself most of the times.”

    1. Also I believe Reinjders has the intelligence for the role so it should be fine. Maybe him and Musah with RLC, Adli or even Okafor 🤷‍♂️

  2. I’d rather Adli played it over Reijnders to see which square peg will fit into that round hole…

    Also, Musah did well for USMNT as a 6. But it seems like he’ll start for RLC.

    1. Looks like Pioli would prefer someone who can dictate tempo, playing simple yet effective passes, rather than physical attribute on the DM post. That’s why Tijani will be preferred. Don’t know about why Adli never has a real chance tho.

    2. i definitely don’t think thats out of position for Reijnders at all. Hes a high motor, well positioned, smart player and good passer, doesn;t miss his tackles. He just happens to be good at multiple positions. Musah is also solid at the 6 but its hard to compare how the two teams play. Musah can also use his recovery speed as an 8 to help counters. And the idea hes not a good passer is really just based on stats from a fairly dysfunctional team. he looks pretty clean although maybe he doesn’t look for the longer balls as much as he could.

  3. He’ll probably do decently there but we will miss out on his forward runs. Really we just needed a DM rather than Musah this summer transfer window.

  4. Reinjders is an more of a box to box who loves to advance – so don’t think it’s the right position for him. Adli is there and was kept for this purpose – to spell Krunic. Perhaps Musah could be considered but he too seems more of a box-to-box mid that aims to get forward. Without Benny we are a bit unbalanced in mid – unless Adli (if given the opportunity) becomes that DM capable of distributing the ball. If Hakan can be converted into one, with time, Adli can as well IMO. Whether he gets the chance to do so is another story. What better way than to try him there vs Verona this weekend.

  5. Why not play Loftus as a DM ? He has more DM qualities then anyone else. Bakayoko did really good as DM in 4-3-3 with Gatusso. Maybe Loftus can be similar.

    1. He doesn’t. He’s big but only uses his physicality on the ball. He’s also positionally poor defensively. Would be a disaster.

  6. Don’t worry. Pioli will start Reijnders at DM, but then exvert him to mezzala, next to RLC and Pobega, while Calabria inverts to DM. Meanwhile Theo will ultrainvert to right wing back and Pulisic will drop deep to left wing back. Chuku will then tuck in a bit as a second striker in front of RLC and Reijnders. We’ll be playing a 4-1-3-1-1. It’s part of Pioli’s master plan. /s

  7. CDK scored again yesterday. Pioli is good at killing players, Adli ,Romero and Okafor will rot in that bench. Have u all noticed that after Donaruma,Calabria, Gabbia, Loccateli,Cristante.. no other Primavera player has played a competitive match for milan?
    PIOLI OUT!!!

    1. They’re also playing CDK as a second striker in a two striker formation. That’s his natural position. Not as a 9 in the single striker formations (4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1) that we use. Not as a winger in those same formations. Not as a playmaker. Second striker. That’s what he is. No surprise that he is playing better. He never should gave been signed because he is not the type of player we needed. End of story. Let him go.

      1. Can’t Pioli use any other formation other than 433 or 4231? Hate to break it to you, but if a coach can’t find a way to use the players he has in the positions they can perform and he desperately tries to force them in positions they don’t usually play, then that coach is utterly uncreative and extremely limited. Life’s not always going to deal you the cards you want, but you have to make the most with the ones you have, Pioli shouldn’t be made into a spoilt brat who’s given everything he wants, look at Allegri for example, last season he used lots of formations until he found one that works, pioli tried one or two new formations last seasons, saw he can’t make them work and reverted to the one what he’s used to because if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? If he continues down this singular path, I swear one day everyone’s going to figure out how to crack the Milan code, exactly how inzaghi did.

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