MN: The brain and the engine – Milan are a different team without Bennacer

By Oliver Fisher -

Ismael Bennacer’s return should hopefully come in the next couple of games, and his importance to AC Milan cannot be understated.

MilanNews recall how it was a day of good news at Milanello in the sense that Mike Maignan and Alessandro Florenzi did full training with the squad, but Davide Calabria and Bennacer trained alone.

There are still four days to go before the game against Atalanta on Sunday evening so there is time for the Algerian to stake his claim, and Pioli would like that because there is no midfielder in the squad with characteristics similar to those of Bennacer.

He is both the ‘brain and the engine’ given his immense work rate but also his technical quality. He knows receive the ball with his back to goal, he knows how to drive play forward with passes or via the dribble and he is of course crucial in the non-possession phase.

Strangely, he is one of those players whose absence might be noticed more than their presence, especially with so much of Pioli’s tactical work – both with the 4-2-3-1 and the 3-4-2-1 – built around having a solid and reliable double pivot.

Milan have won three games in a row without conceding yet have not been hugely convincing in any of the matches, and the midfield is part of that. Tonali, Krunic, Pobega, Vranckx and Bakayoko have different characteristics, all of which seem more complimentary with Bennacer than with Tonali.

The 25-year-old been absent for almost a month and hope that he will return in such a condition as to be able to be decisive immediately.

Tags AC Milan Ismaël Bennacer


  1. The closest midfielder to benna would be Ounahi cause both of them them are good with carrying the ball out of the defence. Tielemans plays in a similar way and has more tackles than Ounahi hopefully we don’t miss out on him since he is free.

    1. we do not have the funds to give him the salary he needs. even though he is on a free transfer. he would command a high wage. Highly doubt we will get him yet I wish

      1. Well we did win quite a lot during the first part och the season and scored many more goals. It’s not just him on the team who had a troubling month. I would rather see it that he can bring even more to the tram than Krunic does and maybe we can fet better results than we have. Krunic has some strenghts but many times he is very slow on the ball and he sometimes has some really bad first touches where the ball flies all over the place from very simple passes.

    2. Tbh Lucas Torreira would be ideal / on par with Bennacer and his characteristics.

      Yet however with the Dark Era of Cardinale and Redbird above us, and the amazing 40ish million budget, dont expect quality deputies…
      Actually, don’t expect quality startes either…

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