Emergency ends in timely fashion: Milan welcome back defensive duo amid daunting schedule

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan’s defensive injury crisis has officially ended with the return of Pierre Kalulu and Fikayo Tomori to the first team fold following lengthy injury lay-offs.

The emergency at Milan is finally over, considering the fact that Stefano Pioli has welcomed back into the group in recent weeks even the last few unavailable players, excluding Tommaso Pobega who is expected to be out for a while yet.

It could hardly be better news for Pioli, who not only knows that he must improve the Rossoneri’s defensive record after another season in which they have let in too many goals, but also because there is a very busy schedule coming up.

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If things go as the club and fans hope between now and May 22nd, Milan will have a particularly packed calendar given their presence in the Europa League, a competition which the management hope to go all the way in and may influence Pioli’s future.

Given this, there has never been a better time to empty the Milanello treatment room, which returned to Pioli and the players two pillars of the Scudetto starting line-up: Fikayo Tomori and Pierre Kalulu.

Both had to undergo a long recovery process in which their respective afflicted muscles healed and then got back to full strength, and then they went through a patient phase at Milanello of getting back to full fitness.

The two central defenders will return to be used more frequently during this second part of the season, also because there will certainly be no shortage of opportunities to rediscover that sharpness which has perhaps been lost due to the time spent out, something Malick Thiaw knows about.

With Matteo Gabbia, Thiaw and Simon Kjaer, it will then be possible to create complementary centre-back pairings which will be alternated by Pioli with the aim of adapting them perfectly to the opponents, thus lowering the number of goals conceded and consequently improving the defensive record.

The impression, also considering the numbers recorded up to this moment, is that Milan will no longer want and will have to do without Tomori, the best defender in the team up to the point he got injured by distance.

His two months of absence will certainly weigh on the final statistics, but with him on the pitch the Rossoneri have collected seven clean sheets so far in the league at an average of 1.13 goals conceded per game.

Tags AC Milan Fikayo Tomori Pierre Kalulu
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