If the reports from all the major sources are correct, Alessio Romagnoli will be left out of the AC Milan starting XI by choice for the first time in over three years.
As MilanLive writes, the centre-back has for years been considered an untouchable member of the starting line-up since his arrival back in 2015. However, most outlets are reporting that Romagnoli will be dropped against Roma as he is out of form, with Pioli wanting to send out a signal that no one has a guaranteed place.
The last time the Italian was left on the bench in the league dates back to three and a half years ago. Back in the 2017-18 season, when Vincenzo Montella was the head coach and Yonghong Li and Marco Fassone in charge, Montella chose to leave Romagnoli on the bench by deploying the defensive tandem Musacchio-Bonucci. The Rossoneri were outclassed 4-1, with a hat-trick from Ciro Immobile.
It is no coincidence that after that precedent Romagnoli has always been deployed as a starter in Serie A. In terms of the last game where he was left out due to rotation, that was Sparta Prague vs. Milan in the Europa League group stages.