MN: Milan fans left bemused as Pioli opts for Bakaoyko instead of Vranckx

By Isak Möller -

In the final ten minutes of AC Milan’s clash against Monza last night, Stefano Pioli made a substitution that left the fans bemused. For the first time in nine months, he decided to bring in Tiemoue Bakayoko.

The Rossoneri wanted to defend their 1-0 lead towards the end of the game and Pioli made this very obvious with one of his subs. Rather than bringing on Aster Vranckx or Tommaso Pobega, he decided to put on Bakayoko.

As highlighted by MilanNews, this was the Frenchman’s first appearance in nine months (he came on against Atalanta in May). He put in a good defensive display but regardless of his performance, it’s clear that his future isn’t at Milan.

That’s why, as the report continues, it was very surprising to see Bakayoko come on rather than Vranckx or Pobega. Pioli defended the choice by stating that Milan had conceded many set pieces lately and that Bakayoko would help with that.

While his abilities in that sense shouldn’t be underestimated, it’s still hard to understand why Pioli wouldn’t throw in Vranckx or Pobega instead. The former hasn’t played since the away game at Lecce (over a month ago) and we need to see more of him given the buy-out clause.

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli Tiemoue Bakayoko


  1. The result was the most important thing. He played very well and prevented any unnecessary stress towards the end. I am guessing that maybe by not playing him at all for so long, Pioli can use him more regularly the rest of this season without triggering the obligation to buy. If that’s the case, it’s a very good thing. He’s a good player with qualities that the rest of the squad do not have.

    1. I always liked him, i would bring him for free, when he was at milan last time, took some time to adapt but man, he was an upgrade to kessie on everything, passing, tacking, long passes and especially interceptions. And to be honest i was suprised he cam into the game and for such a long period of not playing, man he was very confident and make some good interceptions like i was used to see from him.

    2. Lmao he had 2 contacts with the ball since he came on the field ,if that is very well for central midfielder … I think that stupid foul against Roma after which we conceded a goal costed Vrancx more minutes.

  2. we probably have to play him for a minimum of games under the loan agreement as well or get charged for not utilizing him.

    players can rescind their contract if not given playing a certain percentage of playing tiem under just cause. if that were the case maybe we would be obligated to pay the amout to cancel the remaining term on his contract.

  3. i really don’t understand what happen to Vrankx, maybe it’s strategy to low the buy clause or else..
    Baka can come as free buy with lower salary (3m atm) no way 22m.
    or just play Kjaer/Gabbia then move Thiaw to DM, he’s fast phisical aerialy good & is his natural pos

  4. I do personally his physicality and box2box role can help Milan. A player seems like milan should be worked on. Motivate him, not just bench him for nothing but to cover coach lack of technicality and stupidity

    1. Agree. Good on pioli for playing him, he’s thinking out of the box finally now. If bakayoko gets a run of games and some confidence, he can be a useful tool. If we played him for 2-3 games straight I’m sure he’s give us more than tonali gives us right now

  5. Very good point. Was thinking same. Pioli, can deployed him in 3-5-2. Freeing Tonali/Bennacer to be playmaker. LW for Theo. RW fir Calabria/Dest. DK/Diaz AMF. Giroud/leao for front with DK/Rebic as 2nd striker

    But we know Pioli is not a tactician . Just a YES-MAN

  6. I complained about the way Milan has treated Bakayoko same day Pioli finally played him, we lost Kessie and he was supposed to be the natural replacement for Kessie but we are willing to pay 22m for Diaz and play him consistently even though he hasn’t been up to standard in 2 -3years and Bakayoko already proved his worth in his first season with Milan and at Napoli and at his age, he’s supposed to be at the peak of his career but we just kept him on the bench for 2 years playing Krunic and players that doesn’t have half his qualities even during an injury crisis and that’s very very sad to see especially playing Messiahs in his role but I hope he will be giving more time now because he’s way better than Pobegba, Vrankxx and Tonali

    1. problem is if we had played bakayoko consistently we would have to fork up around 20 mil to chelsea infact if he plays 15×45 minutes (7.6 matches) this season it would be an obligation to buy him. Bakayoko will only be used sparringly because there simply is no reason why we should pay as much for a player like him.

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